Bridon Builds Bridges to the Future as Doncaster Pupils Show Their Mettle

Budding industrialists from schools across Doncaster showed their true mettle, as they competed in a bridge-building contest run by Bridon International as part of Business and Education South Yorkshire’s “Technology Challenge” initiative on Tuesday 12 July.

Around 70 pupils from six nearby schools participated in the event, where they were tasked with building a suspension bridge which could hold 20kg over the span length of half-a-meter. Divided into 15 separate teams, the pupils had to manufacture the bridge’s crucial road-deck and supporting uprights from scratch, using designs they had developed in the class room.

The pupils were guided through the process by international experts from Bridon, which manufactures the largest and most complex wire and rope solutions in the world and runs its global operations from Doncaster. Bridon’s ropes are used in some of the planet’s biggest and boldest buildings, from London’s Olympic Stadium to the Singapore Flyer; participating pupils were invited to put into practice some of the principles and processes these projects are built upon. This is Bridon’s 13th year supporting the Technology Challenge, and the event’s judging panel was led by Andrew Dick, who heads the company in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

After several hours of diligent construction, the pupils’ faces were full of anticipation as they waited to see if their bridge could withstand the 20kg weight. Thanks to their creativity, hard work and dogged attention to detail, all 15 teams’ bridges succeeded in supporting the load. A winning team was then selected by Mr Dick, alongside his fellow judges Steve Hutchinson (Bridon Group Finance Director) and Paul Hanks. All three were incredibly impressed by the hard work, enthusiasm and dedication the children displayed. Whilst every school received £100 for taking part there could only be one winner of the £150 prize, which went to Bessacarr Primary School.

Andrew Dick, Bridon MD for EMEA said:

“If the talent of Doncaster’s schoolchildren is anything to go by, the future of British industry is in safe and capable hands. Bridon places a premium on fresh thinking, energy and enthusiasm, and the pupils we hosted today displayed these qualities in spades. There is nothing more valuable to Bridon than the next generation of manufacturing talent, and I’m confident these remarkable pupils left full of excitement about engineering, technology and industry.”

Mary Milburn, Project Liaison Officer at Business and Education South Yorkshire, said:

“It never ceases to amaze me how the pupils apply themselves to the challenge set by Bridon and the innovative solutions that they come up with. We are extremely grateful for the time, expertise, and resources that Bridon puts into Technology Challenge - without them this fantastic project simply would not happen.”