Students create swing bridge design in project set by industry experts

May 13th, 2019

Engineering students at Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) have designed their own swing bridge deck section in a project set by high-level bridge works specialist Spencer Group.

The company is one of the UK's leading privately-owned multi-disciplinary engineering businesses and one of the employer-led school’s Founding Partners.  

Spencer Group is renowned for designing and implementing bridge installations, including the Millennium Bridge across the River Hull, close to The Deep aquarium.

More recently, Hull-based Spencer Group completed a hugely challenging project to carry out repair works which followed a fracture that caused the closure of the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland and the company has also carried out key maintenance projects on the Humber Bridge.

Ron Dearing UTC students have learned from experts at engineering business Spencer Group in one of the school’s employer-led projects. Spencer Group is renowned for major bridge works, including a recent project to carry out vital repairs to the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland.

In another of Ron Dearing UTC’s employer-led projects, Anthony Smith, Senior Design Technician at Spencer Group, tasked 30 Year 12 students with generating a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) draft for the deck section of a swing bridge.

As part of the project brief, students had to consider structure and profile, materials, drainage, surface, electricity, cabling, data links and section joints in the design. The students then had to manufacture a 1:20 scale model of their CAD swing bridge and all achieved top marks.

Dan Howard, Assistant Principal for Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “As part of the project the students went into the bowels of the Millennium Bridge to see how it works and also visited the Scale Lane Bridge, to help to inspire their own designs.

“They used the same CAD processes as design stafft at Spencer Group and built their scale models using 3D print components, which they fixed together. The models are great and we have them on display during open evenings.

“The students saw this project as a real challenge because design engineering is what they love. They have a passion to get involved in this industry and they see a future for themselves in it.”

Spencer Group has carried out a number of key maintenance projects on the Humber Bridge, including using its trademarked “Cable Crawler” gantry to dehumidify the main cables.

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