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Open House is day for K-State talent to shine

By Paul Harris

Visitors to K-State’s annual Open House had a chance to see the Trump International Hotel and Tower inside of Fiedler Hall Saturday.

Instead of using, concrete and steel, architectural engineering students chose to use food in a can to build a 14-foot tall scale model of the Trump Tower in Chicago, which is currently the 12th largest skyscraper in the world. The students used 2,100 cans of food to build the structure.

Assistant professor of architectural engineering Dr. Donald J. Phillippi said the structure used the belt-and-tie method to keep the canned goods from falling. Plywood was placed in between the different levels and the weight and pressure from the top-level cans kept the other cans from sliding out of place and demolishing the tower.

“You could not just start stacking cans,” he said. “You have to have a plan.”

Passer-bys’ heads turned and jaws dropped as they looked at the model. All one woman could say about the enormous structure was, “It’s big.”

Phillippi said the goal of the display was to get a reaction.

It was the second year in a row, the department had a large structure to draw people in. Phillippi said last year’s model was the Petronas Towers in Malaysia.

Once people are drawn in, Phillippi gives a simple explanation about the architectural engineering and construction science programs at K-State.

“Architectural engineers design and construction science builds,” he said.

Although the program is located in Seaton Hall, Phillippi said the space between the floor and the ceiling was not conducive for the structure.

There were other structures available for people to see in Seaton, but they were not as large as the one in Fiedler Hall.

There were also several other smaller can towers surrounding the display model of the Trump Hotel, to give a scale view of how large the Trump Hotel is.

Cans were donated by sponsors and students and will eventually be donated to the Flint Hills Breadbasket, Phillippi said.

Other activities at this year’s open house included a flight simulation at the College of Engineering, an exotic animal exhibit at the College of Veterinary Medicine and a chance to get your picture taken with the Willie the Wildcat.

Attendees also had a chance to see 90 different booths of clubs, organizations and majors at the Kansas State Student Union.

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