6th Annual Billiken BEAMS Competition

6th Annual Billiken BEAMS Competition

Building Engineering Awareness in Metro St. Louis Schools

Dates to Remember

October 7, 2016
Registration Opens

November 4, 2016
Registration Closes

November 12, 2016
Competition Workshops - Material pickup and computer modeling (analysis and design). Each team will be notified of the time to attend. Each team should bring a drawing of the bridge with dimensions.
McDonnell Douglas Hall

11:59 p.m. February 19, 2016
Bridge Reports Due - Deadline for delivery of bridge report.. Further details will be provided.

February 25, 2017
Billiken BEAMS Competition
Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m.
Competition begins at 10 a.m.
Location: Saint Louis University - Exact building to be announced in January.

Bridge Evaluation & Awards

Awards will be given to the top three teams which are determined based on the total points earned during the evaluation process. Below are the categories and maximum points available for each category to be used in the evaluation of the bridges:

20 Points:Bridge Meets
30 Points:Load Carrying Capacity
Prior to Failure  (100 lbs
maximum permitted load)
20 Points:Load/Weight Efficiency
Ratio Prior to Failure
(100 lbs maximum
permitted load)
15 Points:Report of Design and
15 Points:Aesthetics
100 Total


Contact Information

For questions, please contact the the Billiken BEAMS team at billikenBEAMS@slu.edu or 314-977-8443.

About  Billiken BEAMS

Welcome to the 7th annual Saint Louis University Building Engineering Awareness in Metro Saint Louis Schools Competition, Billiken BEAMS! The competition is hosted by SLU’s American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapter and is open to high school students in the metropolitan Saint Louis Area. The Billiken BEAMS Competition is a group based project opportunity in which students use their innovation to build a road based bridge out of balsa wood and then compete against other groups throughout the Saint Louis area. The winning team will design, construct and test the most effective bridge that meets competition evaluation criteria.

Model bridges are intended to be simplified versions of real-world bridges which are designed to carry one or more point loads and usually carry some kind of distributed load. A road bridge is typically designed to accept a load in any position and permit the load to travel across the entire bridge.

The object of the competition is to see who can design, construct and test the most efficient bridge. Efficiency (E) is calculated as
E = load supported (lbs) / weight of bridge (lbs).

Each team will design a bridge to meet the competition specifications. The team will bring a drawing of their design, with pertinent dimensions, to Saint Louis University’s McDonnell Douglas Hall on Saturday, November 12, 2016 (see important dates section in right column) to create a computer model of the bridge with the help of SLU faculty and students. McDonnell Douglas Hall is located at 3450 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63103.

The materials to use in the construction of the bridge will be provided to the teams at the end of the computer modeling session. The teams then have until the date of the competition to construct the bridge.

Participating teams will present their completed bridges for evaluation and testing on February 25, 2017. The competition will begin at 10:00 am. 

Competition Rules and Registration

In order to compete in the competition, groups of 2-4 students must register online. Once registration is open, you may begin the process by clicking the “register” button. Each team must designate a primary team contact. The primary team contact is usually an advisor, parent or student who will lead the group. The primary team contact will complete the registration for the entire team and complete the payment process. Please do not register as individuals.

Registration is open to the first 30 student groups who sign-up on a first come, first registered basis.

The registration fee is $25.00 per team. This fee covers all team members—regardless of how many students are on a team—all bridge construction materials, t-shirts for each team member, attendance at the preparation workshop and participation in the competition.