1T1 Grad Pranks

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Civil Engineering Grad Prank[edit | edit source]

2011 Civ Prank Bridge.jpg

The Civil Engineering class of 1T1 and 1T0+PEY were the first to complete a grad prank in 2011. They constructed a fully functional truss bridge spanning across the "pit" of the Sandford Fleming Atrium, from the north stairs into the pit to the south stairs, a distance of approximately 25 feet.

The truss was constructed completely of wooden studs, with plywood lining the top of the deck as a walkway. The bridge was constructed to Canadian building codes for timber design, using safety factors of 1.5 for live loading and 1.35 for material safety. The design calculations and drawings were attached to the top of the bridge when it was completed.

Prior to construction, the bridge was fully laid out using CAD and the forces for each section was calculated. The side of the truss members were painted in red and blue to represent tension and compression. The structure was indeterminate as it was pinned on both sides using shims on the bearing plates at the steps, and the bottom chord was cambered slightly upward (though it was not reflected in the design specifications).

The bridge was removed less than two weeks later due to the Third Year Mechanical Engineering CAD final project competition, which took place in the Atrium.

Chemical Engineering Grad Prank[edit | edit source]

A student jumping across the non-Newtonian fluid track

Following the removal of the Civil Engineering prank and the conclusion of the Third Year Mechanical Engineering design projects, the Chemical Engineering class installed a small runway across the Atrium filled with a non-Newtonian fluid (water and corn starch), and encouraged students to run across the track. When run across or jumped on with sufficient force, the fluid was able to resist the weight of a human, allowing the fluid to become temporarily solid with each step.

Banner accompanying the Chem prank

The installation was available for a period of three days, and was only open for use during the day, while it was blocked off at night with planks and sandbags. Some of the people who tried the track were unsuccessful in crossing it as they did not run fast enough or use enough force, causing them to become trapped, usually resulting in them falling into the fluid. Notably, one student broke their toe on the end of the runway as they tripped over the wooden end while running. Further, during the subsequent Suds night, an engineering jacket was weaned in the fluid.

Mechanical Engineering Grad Prank[edit | edit source]

Mech prank across the Atrium
Coiled tube at the bottom of the tube system

Following the lead of the Chemical class, the Mechanical engineers constructed a large scale beer funnel / marble track which spanned three stories, from the top of the SF Atrium (on the second floor) to the basement. It consisted of rubber tubing which looped around the railings of the Atrium multiple times, until it reached the bottom, where the tubing wrapped around a small cylinder (possibly designed as a cooling coil) and into a bucket.

However, the prank did not function as intended. Initial testing with water was not successful, as the water did not make it all the way through the tube system. Several marbles were also put down the tubes, to no avail. Both the liquids and marbles were trapped in parts of the tubes.

Sign warning students not to use the tubes

One section of the tubing was draped diagonally cross the Atrium over the first floor, with the words "Epic Beer Time" taped to it, making reference to the cooking show "Epic Meal Time". On the bottom loop around the Atrium, the prank was labeled a failure, with the words "Mech Fail". Signs were also at the top and bottom of the tube system, with the following warning: "Beverages and all other fluids will get stuck in the system. Do not pour liquids in."

"Mech Fail" draped over the tubes

Other students speculated that the prank failed because the coefficient of friction of the rubber tubing was too high, causing fluid flow to stop due to the significant length of the tubes. Other problems included the shape of the draped tubes, which created local 'dead spots' which trapped anything going through the system.