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April 23, 2012

Construction Management students place 2nd in World Vision Disaster Shelter Competition

Students from the University of Louisiana at Monroe's School of Construction Management won 2nd place in the first ever World Vision Disaster Shelter Design Competition on the campus of John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark.

The ULM team was coached by Dr. Hollis Bray, professor in the ULM School of Construction Management, and Al Gonzales, owner of Eason Portable Buildings in West Monroe. Gonzales assisted the team with know-how, tools, material, and transportation.

ULM's student team includes Greg Stuart of Calhoun, Cameron Wilson of Elmer, Shane Young of West Monroe, and Katelyn Hogan of Monroe.

“It is very interesting to watch as it is more than 150 square feet and takes about an hour to construct,” said Bray. “It is bright and silver and quite distinctive. They will actually be making repairs to the damage caused by the hurricane testing.”

Student teams were asked to design and construct a rapidly deployable emergency shelter for use by aid organizations in response to natural disasters.

The students have reconstructed the design that earned them 2nd place in the competition in front of the ULM student union building.

This was a competition for designing and demonstrating portable shelters that can be sent anywhere in the world and rapidly assembled for victims of disasters such as tsunamis, earthquake, hurricanes, etc.

The $1,500, 2nd place prize, along with a plaque, was presented to the team during the closing ceremonies at JBU on Saturday .

The competition included a written paper, the design, construction and testing of a prototype portable shelter that can be quickly shipped to disaster sites around the world and is rapidly assembled to provide safe, temporary shelter for up to four people.

The design requirements included 3.5 square meters of space per person, resistance to wind, snow, and earthquake loads, and a weight limit of 300 pounds.

Students were also asked to demonstrate that the shelter would provide individual privacy and could be livable for up to one year.

A judge rated the livability of the design after spending a night in the shelter.

The earthquake load was simulated by shaking the shelter atop a 16 foot by 20 foot wooden platform on wheels. ULM students designed a hexagonal shelter approximately 12 feet wide, composed of light wood framing and foam insulation board.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization that serves close to 100 million people in nearly 100 countries, including earthquake and hurricane survivors, abandoned and exploited children, survivors of famine and civil war, refugees, and children and families in communities devastated by AIDS in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The staff of more than 40,000 includes experts in a broad range of technical specialties, ranging from hydrology to microenterprise development to public health.

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