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11-20-2015

Clarkson University SPEED Teams Build Bridges at Lampson Falls

Clarkson University Student Projects for Engineering Experience & Design (SPEED) teams have joined forces to build bridges and improve their community.

SPEED teams at Lampson FallsStudents from the Clarkson Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) chapter and the Timber Bridge team traveled to Lampson Falls to replace and build a total of four new timber bridges this fall.

A dozen students worked together to complete the first two bridges in about five hours. The bridges were 13 feet and 10 feet long, respectively, and were built with lumber donated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Two weeks later, 24 students from the B2P chapter and the Timber Bridge team, as well as the Steel Bridge team and the American Society of Civil Engineers, volunteered to construct two more bridges. These bridges were 20 feet and 22 feet long, respectively, and were completed in three hours.

"It was difficult carrying large pieces of wood on our backs up and over hills on the hiking trail, but we made it work," said environmental science and policy student Colin Dowd '16. "We were all really motivated to do the work, and we organized it well enough so that everyone was contributing."

Civil engineering student Julianna Makarsky '16, president of Clarkson's B2P chapter, said this project was a great service opportunity for both groups to gain construction experience and show how serious the teams are about preparing to travel overseas to construct similar bridges in other communities. The SPEED teams also are looking forward to constructing more local bridges in the near future.

"We had a lot of fun," Makarsky said. "I think that these two teams work so well together because we share the same goal of building these structures for people and for communities. We are so grateful that we have opportunities like this to help out and gain some experience, and we can’t wait to do more."

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Students from Clarkson University Student Projects for Engineering Experience & Design (SPEED) teams have joined forces to build bridges in Lampson Falls this fall.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/speed-lampsonfalls.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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