American Society For Composites

The Student Simulation Challenge


The Sixth (2018) Student Simulation Challenge
The theme for the Sixth (2018) American Society for Composites Student Simulation challenge The goal of this simulation-based design is to develop a composite beam with a specified load carrying capacity. The objective is to select constituents and microstructure of the beam that optimizes the weight. Through high-fidelity simulations, the teams must establish that the beam remains undamaged below 7000 lbf and can carry not further load above 10000 lbf. Failure is defined such that maximum load carrying capacity must be between 9000 to 10000 lbf.

This challenge is formulated in collaboration with the SAMPE Bridge Contest in order for the students to use the simulation framework in the next year’s bridge contest.

  • Geometry: The bridge must be at least 24" in length. Flange width cannot exceed 4". Web thickness cannot exceed 1".
  • Materials: Materials of interest include but not limited to prepregs/preform of carbon, glass, aramid, woven, braided and hybrid composites such that minimum transverse direction modulus E2/E3 is 10 GPa. Core materials can be used,but must be in compliance with the dimensional constraints. Consider manufacturability when selecting materials. Simulations should consider stacking sequences, optimization, material microstructure and damage evolution.
  • Loading: The beam is subjected to a modified three-point bending using a loading block shown below.

    Complete Challenge Description Download from here.


First Prize - $1000
Second Prize - $500

Challenge Rules

  • All members of the team must be students currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a 4-year college or university.
  • Teams can contain a maximum of four (4) students
  • All students must be current members of ASC. Membership is included with the conference attendance. Student memberships are $15 per year.
  • At least one team member must attend the conference – Check the Website
  • Teams can be formed with students from multiple colleges/universities.
  • Teams can consult with advisors and mentors. However, the teams must affirm in writing that the submission are based on their own and original work.
  • All teams are responsible for getting access to software and other necessary resources.
  • There are no restrictions on the type of the model and choices of simulation software or data resources.

Challenge Organization Team

S. Sockalingam - University of South Carolina
M. Pankow - North Carolina State University
K. Pochiraju - Stevens Institute of Technology
( Contact Information )

What to do and when?

  • Registration Window opens April 1st and closes June 30th, 2018
  • A short (< 5 slides) presentation of the solution approach, microstructures hypothesized and descriptionsof simulations (PPTX/PDF) - July 15th, 2018
  • Preliminary Video with a descriptive presentation of the solution (Max 5 mins) - September 17th, 2018
  • Final Video Submission - September 24th, 2018.
    (Compliance with the conference attendance requirements).
All registered teams will receive submission instructions.

Evaluation Rubric

  • I. Preliminary Model Setup in a presentation format (30 Points): Presentation must describe all models and assumptions, boundary/symmetry conditions, and material constitutive relationship models along with how damage is handled. A description of what software tools used. A maximum of 5 slides will be accepted.
  • II. Max 5 minute video describing Approach/methodology used to design the bridge (30 Points): Rationale behind choice of material and microstructure and the design approach. Specify the weight of your bridge. For the bridges meeting the design load, weight of the bridge is used as an evaluation criterion. Explain how the beam would be manufactured. Description of the process, method to be used, number of mold pieces required, etc.
  • III. Max 5 minutes video part b: Modeling material microstructure and damage modes (40 Points): Describe how you incorporated material microstructure, damage modes and choice of failure modes in your models and simulations. A verification and validation framework should be used showing the model is calibrated.