The 2024 Forging Competition

The 2024 Forging Competition
The 2024 Forging Competition challenges university students to creatively design and forge a functioning version of a Halligan bar - a multipurpose tool used by firefighters to gain access to building spaces, vehicles, and for a multitude of other emergency uses.

PROJECT: Halligan Bar

April 25, 2024
Milwaukee, WI

Designed by and named for New York City Fire Department First Deputy Chief Hugh Halligan in 1948, the Halligan consists of a bar with claw or fork, a blade (wedge or adze), and a tapered pick. Some feature a sliding weight for hammering the bar into a gap to facilitate prying.

This year, teams do not have to stick closely to the traditional design of the Halligan bar but can modify or optimize the design to improve its utility while performing the functions that the Halligan bar is used for by firefighters.

Each bar will be put through a series of tests appropriate to the application. You can expect your bar to be tested in prying, punching, twisting, and striking. All submissions should include your Halligan bar, a project video and technical report documenting the design and manufacturing process.

Competition Requirements:
Teams will perform all aspects of creating a new Halligan Bar exploiting the forging manufacturing process from design conception to performance. All four (4) components of the project should be submitted. All students must:
     1.  Provide a preliminary plan (one page)
             •   Rough outline of steps
             •   Tentative timeframe
             •   Questions/issues they need to address
             •   Preliminary decisions they've made (material, forging process, etc.)
     2.  Make their version of a Halligan Bar
             •   Your bar should weigh no more than 6 kg. (13.2 lbs.)
             •   Your bar should not be longer than 1 m. (40 in.) in overall length
     3.  Document their project with a professional Technical Report of less than 30 pages supporting their
     4.  Produce a Project Video, not to exceed 5 minutes, that documents their project

All project components submitted for the competition become property of the Forging Foundation (FIERF).

Teams must have:
     1.  Student teams who will design, build, and test their Halligan Bar. At least one member must be a
          current college student. Teams are limited to 8 members.
     2.  A university faculty sponsor to help the team.
     3.  An industrial partner familiar with forging.
     4.  Including one high school student on the team is encouraged. If the team has a high school student,
          they should also submit an addition to their report from the student about what they learned, less
          than two pages.

Each Halligan Bar entry will be eligible for 5 awards and a Grand Prize:
     1.  Best Design and Process
     2.  Best authentic Halligan Bar design for the form, fit and functions but the team is able to use any
          materials they wish for their entry
     3.  Best forging
     4.  Best Project Video documenting the project
     5.  Best Performance based on testing and expert evaluation

Grand Prize based on the top 5 rankings from 1-5 above. Weighting of the scores will be (1) Design and Processes 25%, (2) Halligan Bar Authenticity 15%, (3) Forging 25%, (4) video 10%, and (5) Performance 25%

Important Events & Submission Dates:
Monday, August 7, 2023         Contest Announcement for 2024 Forging Competition 
Friday, December 1, 2023          Proposed teams, and preliminary plan due 
Friday, March 29, 2024  Project video, technical report, and Halligan Bar due
Friday, March 29, 2024 Halligan Bar due
Thursday, April 25, 2024*           Performance testing and awards in Milwaukee, WI 

*For the testing on Thursday, April 25, teams and mentors are highly encouraged to attend and compete with their Halligan Bar.

All electronic submission should be sent to Amanda Dureiko at

Mail your Halligan Bar to:
Renee Meuller
780 McArdle Drive
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Technical Report Must Contain:
Your technical report must not exceed 30 pages. (This will include your cover page and resources pages, so clear and concise writing is necessary).
     1.  Cover Page:
          •  Must use the outline of this cover page
     2.  Address the following:
          •  State the reason for the competition: "FIERF has created this competition to encourage students to
              learn about making metals products using the forging process and applying the latest technology
              available". This should be in the introduction of your Technical Report.
          •  *The historical background and accuracy of your Halligan Bar and explain why your Halligan Bar
              is an authentic Halligan Bar.
          •  *Your design process and the steps you took to get to your final product.
          •  *Your final results should show that it meets contest requirements (state the final length, weight,
              and materials of your Halligan Bar).
*Present each in the one-page executive summary as part of your technical report.
     3.  Other suggested topics that can be addressed in your technical report:
          •  What metallurgical decisions were made with respect to your Halligan Bar?
          •  What type of forging process was selected, what led you to that decision, and the forging process
              steps you used while creating your Halligan Bar?
          •  What kind of inspection and testing your Halligan Bar was subjected to before submission?   
Team Registration:*
To register, please choose one of the following methods:
     1.  Login at the top of this page to register online, and complete all the questions
     2.  Click here to download the registration form and submit via email to Amanda Dureiko at

*Teams that attend the competition in-person will receive a free 2021 Forging Competition T-shirt! Please include your t-shirt size with your registration.

Safety Acknowledgement: (By completing this registration, you agree to the following acknowledgement)
I verify that my team members, my faculty advisor, and I understand the risks of forging, have taken the necessary safety precautions required for this competition, and have read the safety link provided by FIA on the Rules and Entry Requirements page of the Forging Foundation website. I, my team members, and my faculty advisor hold FIA and the Forging Foundation harmless for any injuries, property damage, or other accidents that might occur from engaging in the Forging Competition.
Baird Center 400 W. Wisconsin Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53203 UNITED STATES
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