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CEE Student Uses Civil Engineering to Test Hockey Sticks

Civil Engineers at the University of Tennessee are well-rounded, learning fundamental engineering practices from all fields of study to help produce an engineer that can tackle any challenge. If taking on structural challenges sounds like fun to you, The University of Tennessee offers many clubs and programs that participate in local competitions and also helps solve engineering problems in the community.

I personally am doing a project with a fellow teammate on the hockey team to determine the best type of hockey sticks to purchase. What do hockey and civil engineering have in common? Well a lot, in fact! As an ice hockey player takes a slap shot, the energy is loaded into the stick by slamming the stick down into the ice causing it to bend. When the stick passes the neutral axis, the energy is released into a whipping motion causing the puck to be propelled at speeds of 98 mph, as shown by Alexander Ovechkin in the picture. Hockey sticks are designed with this type of flexure in mind. Companies like CCM and Bauer design sticks to be light and stiff, yet capable to withstand the high loads applied to them. There are many variables and due to the advanced tapering design in the blade of the stick and price of sticks we use a simple point load on a two-foot section of already broken sticks. The two-foot section is taken near the butt end which is symmetrical throughout. With this we can do repeated test till failure to check manufacture claims.

The University of Tennessee is full of projects and competitions to help improve your knowledge and understanding of the applications of civil engineering. Companies like AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction) Host challenges for student to design and construct steel bridges to help in further learning and development. If this sounds like a job for you come join us!


Charles Gallagher