Tech Enigneering Society to Host Trebuchet Competition


Stirling-warwolf-trebuchet-2172 (800x667)The Virginia Tech Society of American Military Engineers, known as SAME, is hosting a trebuchet competition against VMI this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The teams will compete on the soccer fields behind the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center located at the corner of Southgate Drive and Tech Center Drive. This inaugural competition will be another big event in the long-standing rivalry between the Corps of Cadets and VMI.

The Society of American Military Engineers is an organization that promotes and develops links between engineers in the military, public and private sectors. It also helps to stimulate interest in engineering among all of these groups. The position of Virginia Tech was established in 1937, making it one of the oldest honorary military societies within the Virginia Tech Cadet Corps.

Trebuchets are an old-fashioned type of siege engine that predated catapults. They use a counterweight to launch a projectile. Each team will design, build, and fire a Trebuchet, earning points for the distance the projectile travels.

The rules and regulations provide for a strict challenge for each team. Since the throwing arm is capped at 10 feet long, teams need to research effective designs for the trebuchets and improve them if they want to beat the competition.

The counterweight can go up to 750 pounds. With this heavy weight, the trebuchets will be subjected to intense forces. The risk of trebuchet failure is greater if sufficient supports are not used, but projectiles, cantaloupes for this competition, will be able to fly hundreds of feet before touchdown.

Both teams have been working hard since early February on their designs. Come and attend the event where the tensions will be high, the cantaloupes will break and the trebuchets will be put to the test of fire.

Free parking is available in the Lower Chicken Hill parking lot located at the corner of Southgate Drive and Tech Center Drive. In addition, the Health and Safety bundle is available on Tech Center Drive. Find more information about parking online or call 540-231-3200.

the Virginia Tech Cadet Corps has produced military, government, and corporate leaders since the university was founded in 1872. It is one of two military corps of a large public university. The body holds its members to the highest standards of loyalty, honor, integrity and self-discipline. In return, cadets achieve high academic success and lasting companionship with their fellow students. Virginia Tech, Virginia’s most comprehensive university, is dedicated to quality, innovation and results for the Commonwealth, the nation and the world.

This article was written by Cadet David Sinclair of Virginia Beach, Virginia., a second year student majoring in general engineering in the College of Engineering and is a recipient of the W. Thomas Rice ’34 Emerging Leader Scholarship. Sinclair is a member of Air Force ROTC program and is responsible for the Virginia Tech SAME trebuchet team.


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