The Sampe Benelux bridge contest is won by students of the Saxion Lightweight Structures research group.

Ilse, Matthew, Lennart and Jelle, students of the minor course Lightweight Structures, won the Sampe Benelux bridge contest. Composite bridges were designed and manufactured by engineering students from technical universities and universities of applied sciences located in Belgium and The Netherlands. Besides Saxion, participants from TUDelft, KULeuven, InHolland and Gent University competed in the bridge building competition. The team of Saxion was awarded first place and achieved the highest score with their Saxy Bridge.

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Project Production and Materials

Before competing in the Benelux contest, multiple groups of Saxion students designed, built and tested a bridge in a course given by TPAC researchers. The design requirements were similar to the guidelines of the Benelux contest, with regard to strength, stiffness, weight and cost. By considering multiple designs, materials and production methods, the students optimised their bridges. After the production in the TPAC lab, the bridges were tested under bending. The best team was selected to represent Saxion at the Sampe Benelux contest.

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Education at TPAC

Researchers from the TPAC are involved in the education of Saxion students in various ways. In the Mechanical Engineering and Innovative Textile Development studies multiple courses are offered, e.g. composite materials, processes and lightweight design in the minor Advanced Material and Production in Engineering. In multidisciplinary projects of several months students have the opportunity to get familiar with thermoset and thermoplastic composites. They are challenged to design new applications as well as processes. Internship and graduation assignments are offered in collaboration with partnering companies and are often related to research projects of TPAC.

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The Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) is an international society. SAMPE provides a global forum for information, education and professional fellowship on materials and processes development. TPAC is actively involved by publishing articles and presenting research at conferences organised in the Benelux, Europe and USA. To involve more students at SAMPE, TPAC supports students to go to special activities like the Bridge Contest and Student Meetings. Although it was the first time the SAMPE Bridge Contest was organised in the Benelux, a similar annual event takes place in e.g. France and USA for the past decades.

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