The first bridge across the Muregeya River in Western Rwanda embodies the essence of what Structural Engineering is about. A vital life changing piece of infrastructure, the design of which was based on sound engineering principles. In order to build this bridge a ‘BridgeTOOL” has been develop, mostly on a pro-bono basis. This is a design tool and learning resource that enables the rapid design of suspension footbridges, coupled with documentation to both support the construction process and education programmes worldwide. This 50m bridge was the pilot project to test the tool in rigour, which will lead to the tool being made available publicly, to empower developing countries.
This is an excellent example of the structural engineers providing their expertise in order to truly contribute and transform people’s lives. It supports an aspiration to eliminate extreme poverty caused by rural isolation and it was clear to the Judges that the work of the team was exemplar in its execution and dedication.