GCU students pick up structural design competition prizes

28 October 2015

Yohannes Brhane, Lee Haywood and Seyed Sasan Seyf with Dr Ben Zhang.

Yohannes Brhane, Lee Haywood and Seyed Sasan Seyf with Dr Ben Zhang.

Students from GCU’s School of Engineering and Built Environment placed first and second at two major industry competitions.

Yohannes Brhane, Lee Haywood and Seyed Sasan Seyf, all second-year full-time students, won first prize at this year’s IStructE Scottish University Model Competition, held at Heriot-Watt University.

This is the second successive year a team from GCU has won this competition.

They were one of 10 teams from five Scottish universities, the others being Edinburgh University, Heriot-Watt University, Strathclyde University and Dundee University.

This year’s task asked students to build a TV tower that could sustain vertical and horizontal loads using balsa wood.

Meanwhile, GCU sent a team of three part-time final-year students − Isla Buchanan, Michael McGovern and Pamela Robertson – to the Structural Concrete Student Design Competition 2015, where they finished second.

The competition, supported by the Concrete Centre and Laing O’Rourke, required students to design a civic centre comprising a library and council offices, in a new town in the north west of England.

A number of universities from across the UK took part in the competition, including Imperial College, Heriot-Watt University, Queens University Belfast and Leeds Beckett University.

The awarding ceremony was held at SCI in London. The winning team came from Queens University Belfast.

The teams’ tutor Dr Ben Zhang, Senior Lecturer in Civil and Structural Engineering, said: “Encouraging our students to attend these national structural design competitions gave them a chance to enhance their professional skills on many aspects, including conceptual design, creative thinking, problem solving, communication, team work and time management. Also winning awards among Scottish and UK universities boosts our students’ confidence and the reputation of GCU and our BSc Environmental Civil Engineering programme.”