Reston, Va. — A team of students from The University of Florida (UF) made history by winning its third consecutive national title at the annual ASCE/AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition, which was held at the University of California - San Diego. The competition featured 43 teams of college students from across the United States and Canada. The Student Steel Bridge Competition is a partnership between the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC).
The Student Steel Bridge Competition requires teams to develop a scale-model steel bridge which spans approximately 20 feet and can carry approximately 2,500 pounds. Students must then assemble the bridge under timed construction conditions at the competition, and completed bridges are load-tested, weighed, and judged on aesthetics. This year’s challenge featured a bridge designed for a crossing of the Sweetwater River in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, which would allow pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians, and park service vehicles to cross. Engineers also had to respect the existing habitat with their construction design.
“The impressive work of all the students who participated in the Student Steel Bridge Competition shows the future of civil engineering is very bright,” said Maria Lehman, P.E., ASCE President. “We’ve seen even recently the importance of reliable bridge networks throughout the nation. The skills these students have learned through their classes and competitions will help make them better problem solvers that can improve the surface transportation systems that we rely on every day for health and safety.”
The Student Steel Bridge Competition is a chance for students to highlight skills that will help them in their careers. “I think I got a lot out of it, in terms of leadership experience — being professional, learning how to manage and motivate people,” said University of Florida steel bridge project manager Joseph “Brock” Sullivan. He is the first student to ever compete on three steel bridge championship teams. “As project manager this year, looking back there’s a lot I would change and maybe do differently. But that’s the whole point of steel bridge, that’s the whole point of this project — to learn.”
The mission of the Student Steel Bridge Competition is to challenge students to extend their classroom knowledge to a practical and hands-on steel-design project that grows their interpersonal and professional skills, encourages innovation, and fosters impactful relationships between students and industry professionals.
- University of Florida
- Youngstown State University
- University at Buffalo
- Brigham Young University
- Iowa State University
- University of British Columbia
Team Engagement Award: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Robert E. Shaw Jr. Spirit of the Competition Award: South Dakota School of Mines
Frank J. Hatfield Ingenuity Award: University of Florida
John M. Yadlosky Most Improved Team Award: Harding University
ASCE, AISC, and the University of California San Diego organized this year’s ASCE/AISC Student Steel Bridge Championship National Finals, with generous support from Nucor, HDR, W&W | AFCO Steel, Bentley Education, Tekla and many more.
More information about the ASCE/AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition, including a complete list of winners.
About the American Society of Civil Engineers
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit www.asce.org or www.infrastructurereportcard.org and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.