The Midnight Sun Shines Under This Year's Ice Arch

2016 Ice Arch

The winning 2016 design theme was the "Midnight Sun", with steel cables "radiating" from the main arch to support a steel ring and lights that resemble rays from the "sun" ring. The design ornament was altered during the construction process as a tribute to UAF to have a Nanook with the letters UAF stenciled in on the bear.

The 2016 Student Ice Arch Team are:

  • Matt Cryer
  • Catherine Estus
  • Shane Ohms
  • Jessie Gutierrez
  • Zhili Quan
  • Ori Miller
  • Eric Bookless
  • Ben Fetterhoff
  • Gabe Creasy
  • David Rowland
  • Scott Taylor
  • Nathan Goering

This annual event is funded by the Fairbanks chapter of the Associated General Contractors (AGC). Local businesses and Ice Alaska participated in helping students with the items needed to build this structure. This is an important learning experience for our students and we are proud of their response to these types of activities. Over the years there have been some very innovative designs; show casing our student work is something we should be proud of.

The Ice Arch that is located at the center of flags on lower campus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is built by Civil & Environmental Engineering students as part of an annual tradition that has occurred for over 50 years. Design and building the ice arch gives students an opportunity to showcase how ice may be used as an engineered construction material. This exercise is typically built to show case the engineering student activities for Engineers week. We at UAF are proud of our students and these types of activities enables our students to learn outside the classroom and to illustrate to the community how we at UAF can use ice to move goods services across difficult terrain during the winter months.

Approximately five years ago, the ASCE/AGC student chapter implemented a plan that called for design proposals to be submitted for competition. Written design proposals are submitted and presented to the student chapter. This year, two design proposals were submitted. The winning design receives a $200 cash prize and judging is done by professionals (not students). Once a design is selected, construction bid proposals are requested to be submitted by students. Judging is done by local construction professionals. The Construction contract award is $700 with an opportunity to get $25 per day for early completion. The maximum amount for early completion is $1,000. A $100 per day penalty for not meeting the contracted completion date is also part of the contract documents. The minimum payment with penalties is $300. Three construction proposals were submitted this year, which were reviewed by three judges from a local construction company.