Troitsky Bridge Building

The Department of Building, Civil & Environmental Engineering at Concordia University is proud to present its annual Bridge Building Competition. It all began in the 1960's, when Dr. Michael S. Troitsky, a professor in the Civil Engineering Department of Concordia (which at that time was Sir George Williams University) spoke with students in his Bridge Design Class about possibly building models similar to their course work. Many of the students thought the idea was great, and they began building small scale bridge models using nothing but wood and glue.

By 1984, the concept had taken off, and Concordia's Civil Engineering Department held their First Annual Bridge Building Competition. Initially, the contest was only open to Civil Engineering students enrolled at Concordia. However, as word spread, the event began to expand—first to include universities throughout Montreal, then across Canada. In 1991, the competition went international, with teams enrolled from the United States. In 1988, the Civil Engineering Graduating Class created an award for Most Innovative Concept, and dedicated it to the memory of Lars Rowland, an alumni who completed his B.Eng in 1988 at Concordia and was working as a Civil Engineer for Canadair when he passed away in 1990 piloting his plane.

The inscription reads: "May his creativity, compassion, and love of life serve to inspire you, as it has us, in the pursuit of your dreams."

The Crusher, which is the main focal point of each competition, has a history of its own. The Crusher that is presently used at each competition was a donation from Wainbee in 1994. It is a screw jack style mechanism, which is controlled by a computer. It can apply loads of up to 6000 pounds. The original Crusher was a hydraulic device which, after ten loyal years of destroying bridges, met its death in 1994—exploding hydraulic fuel all over the judges and competitors. A mark remains on the ceiling of the Hall Building Auditorium from the incident. in 2008, Mechtronix Inc. provided us with a 10-ton Capacity Crusher. During the last competition a bridge resisted up to 2767kgf, and actually survived!

In 1998, we hosted our 14th Annual Competition, and for the first time we had a team participate from the Engineering Technology Program of John Abbott College. In the past, as we hope to have again this year, entries are expected from across Canada, as well as the United States of America. We hope to continue to attract teams from all across the world. The event is not only a challenge of students' engineering knowledge and creativity to design and build a high quality bridge, it also gives participants the opportunity to meet engineering students from other universities and technical schools from around North America and hopefully Europe. A tradition which began over 20 years ago is fast approaching—make sure that you are a part of it!

Some pictures from the 2014 30th Annual Troitsky Bridge Building Competition

Thank you to our awesome 2014 sponsor!!!


Here's a testimonial written by one of our participants:

Helios Makerspace was an excellent resource for our 2014 Concordia Troitsky Competition team. We were in desperate need of a work space and Helios provided us with everything we needed and more. There was ample space, lighting and most importantly, tools. The staff were very friendly and helpful and even chimed in with a few tips they thought would improve our project. When they were missing a tool we needed they went above and beyond and bought them new. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Helios again for a project and I’m sure they would be extremely happy to see new Concordia students pursuing their hobbies or projects there.

Michael Lemieux