Bridge Design in the Arctic Environment
Dates: July 15th-26th
Since the beginning of civilization civil engineers have worked to design, construct and maintain the infrastructure that supports modern life. Examples of their work have withstood the test of time, like the Roman Coliseum or the Egyptian Pyramids. Other more modern engineering marvels such as the Panama Canal, the Hoover Dam, or the Golden Gate Bridge still play a major role many years after completion – for these structures we have civil engineers to thank.
Here in Alaska, the majority of the transportation infrastructure is managed by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF). Our job involves designing, building, and maintaining highways, airports, and bridges we use every day - keeping them safe and functional.
As we explore the many facets of bridge design and construction we’ll be asking several questions:
- How do we plan bridge placement?
- What is the best kind of bridge?
- What forces act on a bridge?
- What determine stresses in bridge structures?
- What’s the difference between span, arch, and suspension bridges?
- What are the design and construction considerations for arctic conditions?
- Once the bridge is built, then what?
We’ll be taking several field trips and conducting lab experiments to better understand how engineers determine where to build bridges, what kind, and how strong - many considerations go into making these very important decisions. We’ll also learn what happens when things go wrong and how engineers have learned from history.
You’ll spend part of each day designing a bridge in preparation for building a model to display or assemble on the last day of ASRA. You’ll also design and conduct a load test for your final project.
Dave Waldo has been an ASRA co- instructor since 2004. Dave works at Alaska DOT&PF as the Technology Transfer Manager and graduated from UAF in 1990 as a certified teacher.
As a life-long resident to Interior Alaska, Dave loves to promote UAF: “It’s amazing to me we have this world class institution right in our backyard. It’s a great place to have a high quality educational experience and not have student loans until you’re 45!”
Keith Whitaker, PE, JD, is a civil engineer and has recently joined the UAF faculty to manage the Graduate Certificate in Construction Management program. He has worked for 20 years as president and senior project manager of a private consulting firm. He is a registered civil engineer in several states and registered structural engineer in Massachusetts. He earned a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Rhode Island and a JD from the University of Maine School of Law.