You now have more ways to compete


This year, Aurecon is introducing an optional digital design component to the competition to reflect the increasing role virtual/online environments and programs play in the engineering and testing of bridges.

As in previous years, schools will still have the opportunity to physically construct a bridge from a kit of materials, and the Judging Days will be held as per usual. I.e. the bridges will be judged for efficiency, strength, and innovation.

In addition, and as a way for students to better plan and design their bridges, all schools will also have the option to design their bridges digitally via SketchUp Make.

Teams then have the option to submit their digital wireframes to Aurecon before the Judging Day events to compete for a new “Digital Award” for the best virtual bridge design. The winning school will receive a 3D printed Nudel model of the bridge design at Judging Day.

To be eligible for the Digital Award teams must:

  • Use the digital tool, SketchUp Make. For further information please see section 4.2 of the Bridge Building Competition Guidelines
  • Submit their digital wireframe designs to Aurecon via email one month minimum in advance of the Judging Day events
  • Submit a physically constructed bridge in accordance with these guidelines

Expert engineers from Aurecon will pick out the three best (per location) digital bridge SketchUp Make wireframe designs that have been submitted prior to the Judging Day events. Prior to the Judging Days, the Aurecon engineers will virtually test the top three and will look to predict where the bridges will fail and the approximate weight each can support.

The top three digitally designed bridges will be showcased and virtually tested on a projector at the Judging Days events. The digital testing of the projects will be compared and contrasted with the testing of the physical bridge on the rig.

Important: The top three digitally designed and consequent virtual testing results will be kept confidential until Judging Day. The winner of the ‘Digital Award’ will be announced at prize giving at the end of the day.

How to access SketchUp Make

  • Visit
  • Insert your details and download the free program to your computer.
    The program is free for all educators and schools to use, and does not require a license.

How to use SketchUp

You can also find more help for using SketchUp on by visiting and searching for more videos on Youtube. There are literally hundreds out there.