For the last 26 years during National Engineering Week (the first week of March) civil engineering students from both Canada and the United States gather at the Troitsky Bridge Building Competition at Concordia University in Montreal. In order to enter a bridge in the competition the teams must meet these requirements: “Each team must design & build a bridge with an open span of 1 meter and composed solely of Popsicle sticks, white glue, dental floss and toothpicks” and have an overall weight limit of 6 kg. Previous winners have built bridges weighing only 1.29 kg (2.8 lbs).
This year’s winning team is from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and they are aptly named “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” Their extraordinary bridge successfully carried 2,733 kg, beating the event’s previous record by 200 kg. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen also beat out the reining champions from UQAC in Chicoutimi, Ontario who have held the title for the past six years.
The bridges were judged on aesthetics and originality of design (10 points), booth layout and presentation (10 points), ultimate load carrying capacity (20 points), predicted ultimate load carrying capacity (25 points), structural efficiency (25 points) and predicted mode of failure (10 points). The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen had a total score of 92.49 out of 100.