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While the most recent architectural addition to the campus may look like the beginnings of a new building, in actuality it's an engineering teaching tool.

The "Connections Monument," which doubles as a piece of art, was installed recently on the lawn at the west end of Kaufman Hall, across from Webb Center. The 2,800-pound, 8-foot-tall brown steel structure was fabricatedand donated to Old Dominion by Lynchburg Steel.

"This teaching tool shows engineering details of practically all steel building connections used in North America," said Zia Razzaq, University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who paved the way for the sculpture's installation. "And it provides beneficial hands-on experience for both undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in the design of steel structures."

Several benches will be added to the area surrounding the sculpture so students can take notes and make sketches, as well as conduct a physical study of the various connections represented. "The benches, the sculpture and the surroundings will also create a new 'corner' for all Old Dominion students, and even visitors, to sit, have conversations or just relax," said Razzaq.

The sculpture is one of 100 such structures on college campuses around the country. The American Institute of Steel Construction oversees a program to install the monuments on every university campus that offers a civil engineering degree program.

This article was posted on: December 10, 2001

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