A team was entered in collaboration with Amey; with Peter Hardy and George Brodie representing Waterman Aspen, and Jamie Palmer of Amey. Upon arriving, we were soon set our brief; which was to design and construct a dome 40cm in both height and diameter out of materials such as straws, lollipop sticks, string, Sellotape, etc.
With pressure to live up to team name “Brunel’s Babes”, we knuckled down and quickly settled on our design philosophy. This was to have a series of vertical “ribs” connected to a compression ring at the dome’s peak, and a tension ring at it’s base, along with a series of tension rings at staggered heights.
The structure had to be efficient as a limited budget was to be considered; this led to string being chosen for our tensile material, and straws for the ribs. With materials purchased we began constructing the dome, this is where we learnt, perhaps fatally, that we hadn’t considered buildability. With time cruelly running out, it was all hands on deck as limbs frantically waved about trying to salvage any form of structure resembling a dome.
Overall the boys enjoyed the experience and had a genuinely fun evening, with eyes solely on the prize for next year!