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NDSEED completes its 10th bridge

Written by: Nina Welding

Notre Dame Students Empowering through Engineering Development (NDSEED) completed its 10th bridge this summer in Mallkuchusi, Bolivia. The team lived in this community for 10 weeks and worked alongside community members in challenging conditions, constructing this bridge in the winter at over 14,000 feet. This impressive 97.2 meter bridge had a number of technical challenges created by the gorge typography and fractured rock soil conditions that required considerable skill in excavation, modified setback distances, and the development of a non-standard anchor design.

The traveling team was led by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences (CEEES)  Brittany Margritz (Class of 2019) and Chad Quick (also CEEES Class of 2019), who served as the bridge engineer. Margritz is now working with Engineers in Action, the partnering non-governmental organization on this project. Rising juniors in the department Margarite Schwarz (quality control engineer) and Mary K. Wentzel (business manager) and rising CEEES sophomore Lillian Rodriguez (research lead) were also part of the team.

The balance of the team was rounded out by mechanical engineering students Joseph Trzaska, Sebastian Echeandia, and Gonzalo Maella. A Bolivian national, Maella was particularly enthusiastic about this project. In fact, his family hosted the group at their home in La Paz for part of the students' time in Bolivia.

For more information about the 2019 bridge project, click here.