Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pylon Project

The "American Team"
At the start of the year, we met with the French school structures profs with the intention of continuing an annual tradition of a joint Franco-American structures project. A month or two later, I started to see and hear the expected schedule conflicts; essentially, the American students' schedule did not coordinate with the French's. Unfortunately, this meant that the Americans could not collaborate with their teammates until the second semester.

I'm thankful that most teams did have some interactions and joint work. Sadly, though, the French students had design reviews the day before the structures project was due. In the end, most teams constructed their models the night before, slept only a wink, and didn't get as much out of the process as we would have liked. Regardless, the resultant models were fun to see, and I think everyone had a good time loading them up with water bottles.

Besides geometric constraints, each team's model was supposed to hold up a few kilos of weight concentrically and eccentrically. Economic efficiency was considered as well via load-to-weight ratios.

If I'm here again next year, I hope to have a better-coordinated schedule and project so that the teams can (hopefully) get a better experience.

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