Published on: 15-Oct-2019
Innovative Seismic Building Design by NTU/CEE Undergraduate Students Won the Champion in an International Earthquake Engineering Competition (IDEERS 2019)
The NTU civil engineering undergraduate team has clinched the championship (First Prize) in an undergraduate Division in an international earthquake engineering competition – the Introducing and Demonstrating Earthquake Engineering Research in Schools (IDEERS) competition held at the National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering, Taipei, Taiwan, during 20-21 September 2019. The NTU civil engineering undergraduate team is formed with four CEE third year students (Kong Kok Khuen, Low Khai Jer, Foo Tun How, Nicholas and Hew Gong Qi,) supervised by Dr. Li Bing. School of CEE has provided these students with a lump-sum of funds to support them in this competition and we hope to inspire more CEE students to participate in such competition in the future and do us proud just like this team!”
Over the course of two days, students designed and built structures addressing common construction issues faced in earthquake prone areas. Students also exhibited their own prototypes and architectural designs, and presented to a group of judges on how their models functioned in minimizing the impact of earthquakes. The students tackled the competition by applying various knowledge learnt. Courses provided by the school proved to be very useful and applicable in real life scenarios. It was safe to say that education played a vital role in securing this victory.
Ever since the first competition, IDEERS has recorded a staggering number of 7500 participating students from all around the globe. This year marked the 18th anniversary of this competition. The participation rate this year was the highest, with a total of 111 participating teams and 555 contestants. The undergraduate division had 49 teams from different regions, such as Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Macau, Hong Kong, Korea, Australia and Taiwan. This year marked the implementation of a new format of the competition and as such it all came as a novel yet challenging experience for the students.
Before the competition, they first came out with a design with the help of computer analysis. The simulation allowed the students to develop greater understanding into the structure’s behavior. They also bought customized building materials and construction tools for training purposes. Due to limited support and resource, the students had to improvise and build a handmade shaking table. The shake test was then done through vigorous manual labour. Much time and effort were involved in such preparations.
The team managed to overcome many challenges in this competition, most notably a relative lack of experience as Singapore is ultimately not an earthquake prone region. They also had to overcome numerous resource constraints and come up with innovative solutions to overcome the lack of resources such as a shake table. In the end, the team managed to defeat the odds and bring home the championship.
This competition has inspired and educated our future young engineers about the importance of designing earthquake structures. The students hope to inspire more young students to dream big and never give up.
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