Giant Meccano bridge secures world record
29 September 2015
Officials from Guinness World Records have confirmed that Queen’s Big Bridge Build – a bridge spanning almost 100 feet across Belfast’s Clarendon dock – is the world’s largest Meccano structure. The attempt to build the world’s largest Meccano structure was verified by the Guinness Book of Records in a ceremony on September 19.
The Big Bridge Build, a year-long project, is the brainchild of the University’s School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering. Academics and students created the bridge, with the help of local school children, as part of the university’s outreach programme to encourage more children to think about careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
The project was made possible with the help of Spin Master Corp, the proud owner and producer of Meccano, as well as McLaughlin & Harvey and Aecom who gave valuable advice to the students as well as assisting with the construction and installation of the bridge across the Clarendon Dock.
The year-long project engaged not only academics and students, but also local schoolchildren as part of the university’s outreach programme to encourage more children into STEM careers.
John McCarey, chief engineer at McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd said: “It has been exciting working closely with both the academics and students of Queen’s university on this successful record attempt. Through our experience we have been able to support these engineers of the future create something that people around the world will be able to see.
McLaughlin & Harvey provided not only technical expertise in supporting the students’ build, but also resources and a warehouse in which the bridge components were assembled and tested.
Finally they have provided on-site engineers managing its relocation to the Clarendon dock and subsequent installation across the water.
The attempt had the support of Meccano and also Smyths Toys who were present at the Guinness Word Record verification day, encouraging children to create their own Meccano structures.
Speaking about the partnership, Danny McPolin, senior structures lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast said: “This event is not only an opportunity to celebrate the student and staff’s incredible work over the past year, but also a chance to show local children more about the opportunities in STEM based careers and encourage them to consider a future studying civil engineering.”
Key bridge statistics:
Overall length of bridge – 28.76m
Longest span of bridge – 18m
Height of bridge – 6.25m
Weight of bridge – 600kg
Design capacity – 100kg
Total length of Meccano – 3,835m
Number of pieces of Meccano – 11,000 (excluding nuts and bolts)
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