Constructing a bridge from spaghetti? Is it only a game, or is it an engineers challenge?

The Answer is obvious: a strong and magnificent bridge, despite what its made of, is a serious engineering task.

The competition of bridges made of pasta originates from the United Kingdom and has a tradidion of many deceades in several European, Asian and American countries. In Hungary the SZIU Ybl Miklós Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering was the pioneer. Their students were building bridges and in 2004 Óbuda University has joined the circle of these organisers. The competition turned into very popular among the students of Bánki, they were making home tournaments and they tried themselves on international competitions as well. The canadian championship was the best before, our students won at that tournament 6 times usually with world records.

Going International

Our first international competition was held in 2005, named "RECCS 2005 - Spaghetti Building Championship at Pannonian Basin". Onto this competition we called engineer students from abroad. There were teams from four countries: Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Serbia. This was the year when we started the support category besides bridge. We hold the competition in this form through 5 years and all the excellent performances and the strong field became the mark of RECCS. For example Balázs Vida from Széchenyi Egyetem, University of Győr won the tournament in support category with 400 kg load capacity at 2006. In 2008 Szilárd Márkos from Óbuda University exceeded that result with 560,3 kg, which is a new world record. (He put another world record at 2011 with 578,2 kg which remained until 2017. That was the year when the iranian team - Hamed Farzi, Farnaz Kalali and Alireza Nazari - made a new world record and repelled Szilárd from the throne with 666,3 kg load capacity.).

The year 2010 when we held RECCS 2010 Central European Spaghetti Bridge Competition. There were teams not only from the neighbourhood but from Italy and Iran. That year was the first time we held a beauty contest, the participants needed to make a scale-model of our famous bridge Széchenyi Chain Bridge. Students from Islamic Azad University Of Qazvin won that category.

World Championship

In 2011, we held RECCS for the first time as a world championship of the young and talented engineers from all over the world. There were teams from Iran, Latvia, Germany, Italy, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. In 2012 Portugalia (University of Beira Interior) was also send a team and they won the innovation prize. In 2013 there were observers from UK and USA. We had a great time because Csaba Járó and Miklós Vincze from Óbuda University hit the bridge category with a 570,3 kg world record! And since then it's still a record in that category.

The Technical University of Cluj-Napoca won the bridge category in 2014, while in support category János Papp from Bánki won the support.

In 2015 Latvia introduce their unique construction name "Bridge It!" for the first time and won the support category with 488,3 kg. They bring back the name "Bridge It!" in 2017 and 2018. They managed a second place with latter one.

2017 was the year of the newest record in support category, Alireza Nazari, Hamed Farzi and Farnaz Kalali reached the unbelievable 666,3 kg load capacity. Also this year Hungary won the bridge category with 421 kg. Donát Huszák and Benjámin Horányi were from Óbuda University.

In 2018 students from Technical University of Cluj-Napoca won the bridge category while Turkey got the first in support.

Summary of RECCS 2019 Championship

On May 23, 2019, one of the University's largest internationally recognized championship, the RECCS Ledge Building World Championship, was successfully completed. At the event, which was held for the ninth time, nine of the 11 registered countries were represented by the total of 19 teams, with 22 pasta bridges. The Obuda University has delegated six teams (five teams from the Bánki Faculty, which started the RECCS World Championships, further to the point the Keleti Faculty of Business and Management and the Kandó Faculty of Electrical Engineering was represented by a team and a student). A team of St István University, Miklós Ybl Architecture Faculty, three teams from Brazil, two from Poland, two from Transylvania and other participants from Bulgaria, Turkey, Germany, Lithuania and Latvia have participated.

Team registration began at 7 am, and the contestants continuously arrived with their structures. After 9 o'clock, the jury members reviewed and evaluated the bridges, and the spectators also gathered, so the auditorium in the campus of the Bécsi Street, which served as the venue of the race, was full of people. The opening ceremony began a few minutes after 10 o'clock, the narrator was Dr. Tibor Kovács, associate professor, and the interpreter was Éva Kovács. We have invited István Tarlós, mayor of Budapest, to attend the World Championship, who was represented by Dr. Balázs Szeneczey the vice mayor of Budapest, who greeted the audience. The president of the competition was Prof. Dr. Zoltán Rajnai dean, honorary president was Prof. Dr. Mihály Réger rector. The president of the jury is Dr. István Oldal, vice president of Mechanical Engineering, of the Hungarian Chamber of Engineering. The other members of the jury were from teachers of the Donát Bánki Faculty of Mechanical and Security Engineering at the Obuda University, the representatives of the sponsors and the recognized personalities of other professional fields.

Prof. Dr. Mihály Réger, rector of the Obuda University, opened with his speech the World Championship.

First, there was a competition for bridges - the jury was able to evaluate 10 structures, one was outside of the racing competition. The 2013 World Record (570.3 kg, which was achieved by the students of the University of Obuda, Bánki Faculty) still has not been reached, but the results were still very nice: the Turkish team IPYMIDEAST had a load of 482.5 kg, securing their first place with it. Interestingly, this team has conquered the world record two years ago in the support category.

Brazilian Builders, a new team at RECCS World Championship, finished at the second place. As a debut of the South American joint, built an outstanding bridge with a load capacity of 355.3 kg.

Third place winner was the UTCN Transylvanian team with a load capacity of 289.6 kg.

In the second part of the world championship was the holding/bracket category, where we also saw 10 structures, and there was also a bridge outside of the competition.

At the forefront, the top runner of the category, the IPYMIDEAST team, scored 504.2 kg, which became the most competitive structure of this year's race, though their own record of 2017 could not be broken, as this year’s structure was 162.1 kilograms less.

The second place went to the Lithuanian team Marmašeliai 4.2 runner-up, their support was 413.8 kg, before it broke.

One of the teams at the Bánki Faculty of Obuda University, namely “Dezső, must die” a duo with a load of 359.4 kg finished at third place.

The large number of audience and competitors were invited for a sandwich lunch on the hanging corridor of the Bécsi Street campus, while the jury compiled the final result. After the break Dr. József Gáti, the rector's general counselor held his closing remarks, and then the result was announced.

Prizes for the first three runners-up of the two categories were presented by, Prof. Dr. Mihály Réger, rector, Gabriella Földesi chancellor, Dr. József Gáti rector’s general counselor, Dr. István Oldal vice president and Prof. Dr. Zoltán Rajnai dean of the Bánki Faculty.

This year's special prize of aesthetic was given to the team named Averi Stroy and to their structure under the same name from Bulgaria.

The Special Prize for Innovation was won by the Domiró Bridge of our University Domino team with its unique structure.

The special prize of the best cross-border Hungarian team was handed over by Gábor Bokros, Deputy Director of Marketing, to the UTCN of Cluj team, with the generous offer of Gyermelyi Zrt.

The Mechanical Engineering Division of the Hungarian Chamber of Engineers has been awarded a special prize for the best Hungarian mechanical team, which was a different team from the “Dezső must die” of Bánki’s team. This was handed over by Dr. István Oldal, vice president of Mechanical Engineering at the Hungarian Chamber of Engineers.

The special award of the Obuda University has been given to the “Stars of Eger” group by Prof. Dr. Réger Mihály rector.

The special prize of the Student Union of the Obuda University was presented to the Bánki’s team of “Etil Brigade”, by Prof. Dr. Zoltán Rajnai, dean.

The special prize of the Bánki Faculty was handed over to the Domino team by Chancellor Gabriella Földesi.

In addition, the Bridge Builders Association offered special prizes to all competitors, congratulating them on their outstanding performances.

Many people on the site were bustling through the breaks, and numerous others were able to watch the events from the live YouTube stream. There was a large number of press staff at represent to report, and to interview. As with the competitors, both the organizers and the sponsors have done their best to create a good atmosphere and a fair competition.

It was a special joy for our University that this time the best teams of three continents measured their knowledge and skills on RECCS, and that not only the teams of the Obuda University, but also of other Hungarian institutions participated in the event.

Today, RECCS is one of the most prominent spaghetti bridge contests in the world, and it can be considered as Óbuda University’s contribution to the university life of the World, in terms of student competitions.