Numerical analysis of stick bombs

Lucas Allegrette, a Purdue ME undergraduate student, has won an award for his poster, "Numerical Analysis of Stick Bombs."

Stick bombs are simple toys built with popsicle sticks that are interwoven in a specific pattern, and then flip into a chain reaction when one of the sticks is removed.  Stick bombs demonstrate the potential of stored energy.

Allegrette's poster investigates the mechanics of structures held together by self-stress, creating computer simulation models of two different types of stick bombs: the A-frame, and the cobra weave.  Lucas worked on the project with Prof. Thomas Siegmund, an expert in solid mechanics.

Allegrette presented the poster at the 2019 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in Salt Lake City, Utah, in November 2019.  His poster won both "Most Attractive Poster" and "Most Informative Poster."  Another of Prof. Siegmund's students, Ethan Guenther, also won 3rd place overall for his poster, "Leonardo’s Lintel: Analysis with 21st Century Tools."

Purdue ME offers many options for undergraduates who want to conduct research, including the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) and the Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship (DURI).

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1662177. The authors would also like to thank NSF for supplemental travel funds to this competition from grant CMMI-1935462.