Leightweight Challenge

  Participants of the Lightweight Challenge Copyright: © SLA RWTH

Around 30 students from the RWTH Institute of Structural Mechanics and Lightweight Design (SLA) found out just how hard it is to be light in the annual "Lightweight Challenge". “Nine teams had the task of moving a mass of 15 kilograms over a distance of 1.2 meters. The only materials available were thin MDF boards, balsa wood and glue," explains SLA head Prof. Kai-Uwe Schröder. "The goal is to precisely meet the target whilst using as little mass as possible. But make sure it's stable enough!" That's because each bridge was subsequently tested until it broke - and only those that met the target were entered into the evaluation. In addition to weight, the evaluation also took into account creativity and effort as well as the consistency of the calculation with the experiment.

"It's always surprising how many ways even such a seemingly straightforward task can be solved," Schröder says. "We would like to thank all of the students for their desire to design and optimize. Congratulations to Jan Weisgerber, Lukas Lemaitre and Patrick Kramer for winning the challenge." The winners received a book prize and were presented with the Hans Ebner award.