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Big Beam Team Takes First Place in Video, Fifth Place Overall in Big Beam Competition

Allison Preston • DATE: September 17, 2018

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) announced the winners of the Engineering Student Design Competition, also known as the Big Beam Contest. The University of Notre Dame Big Beam team placed fifth overall out of the top 20 participants and were awarded first place in the video portion of the contest.

The objective for the competition is for teams of students to fabricate and test a precast/prestressed concrete beam. The beams are then ranked based on several criteria, including highest load capacity and efficient design.

The University of Notre Dame Big Beam team consists of eight members; Gavin Chamberlain, Sydni Clark, Daniel Fisk, Chris Garcia, Julian Mancini, Kathleen McKeon, Olivia Perham, and Andrew Rossi. All work under the direction of Professor Yahya Kurama. The team also worked with Vice President Adam Reihl at PCI certified precast producer, Strescore, Inc. in South Bend for their beam.

“Dr. Kurama helped us with the design process, but everything was done by us students, and it was really up to us as a team to keep on schedule and meet our goals and deadlines,” said Senior Civil Engineer Sydni Clark.

Teams were also required to submit a video of their beam being tested, along with a storyline of how the project came to fruition. The University of Notre Dame team received first place in the video competition for content and editing.

"We're honored to be the first-ever Notre Dame team to win the "Best Video" category," said Julian Mancini, the director and editor of the video. "The win represents the culmination of a full year's work."

Overall, the team received $1500 for their first-place video win and a fifth-place finish in the beam contest.