Queensburgh Girls Shine at SAICE Regional Bridge-Building Competition
The Durban branch of the South African Institute of Civil Engineering (SAICE) held its annual regional schools’ bridge-building competition at the UNITE School of Engineering at Howard College. For the first time, the event was combined with a career expo that attracted support from several engineering companies, including the competition sponsors: Stefanutti Stocks, Lafarge, BMK and Naidu Consulting.
Thursday, 7 August saw around 200 learners from 15 regional schools (rural, previously disadvantaged, model C and private), their teachers, parents, company representatives and guests, converging on campus to experience the popular SAICE event.
The competition was initiated 23 years ago in 1991 when the SAICE-Durban Branch decided to implement a competition for schools with the aim of attracting learners to the Civil Engineering profession; exposing learners, parents and the general public to the profession; and giving all learners an opportunity to apply their Maths and Science knowledge.
The bridge-building teams consisted of three learners. Each team built model bridges as per specifications provided by SAICE. The competition rules are amended each year in order to encourage innovation and fresh designs.
Guest speaker and retired Civil Engineer Mr David Easton spoke about his 60-year-long Civil Engineering career, impressing both learners and adults with the dazzling experiences offered by his career.
The career expo was also popular with learners who were able to receive further information about the profession and bursary opportunities offered by engineering firms.
Those bridge models that survived a cut-off load of 200N qualified to proceed to final testing conducted at the evening session. Fairvale High School came third with a load of 300N, Burnwood Secondary second with 350N, and the winners were Queensburgh Girls’ High with a staggering 380N.
Queensburgh will now represent the Durban Branch at the national competition to be held in Pretoria where winners from branches around the country and those from Namibia and Zimbabwe will be vying for the trophy.
Congratulating the winners, Mr Vishal Krishandutt, Chairman of SAICE Durban Branch, said he was delighted by the fact that a girls’ team had won the event.