U-M Steel Bridge Team Advances to National Competition

News date: 
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The University of Michigan Steel Bridge Team (SBT) finished up a very successful season of competition. After placing second at the ASCE North Central Regional Competition, the U-M SBT was one of only 43 teams to advance to the ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC). Oregon State University hosted the event, held on May 26-27, 2017.

The students spend many months designing and implementing a mock highway bridge, at a 1:10 scale of a real bridge. The SBT competition bridges are typically about 20 feet in length. The team uses software such as RISA-3D, Solidworks and AutoCAD to model, analyze and design a structure they believe will perform the best. Once constructed, the bridge must sustain a vertical load of 2,500 pounds and a lateral load of 50 pounds.

The competing teams are given scores based on key attributes, such as lightness, strength, efficiency, constructability and aesthetics. The U-M SBT scored very well in display and stiffness, placing 4th and 7th respectively. The team placed 21st overall, competing against 42 other teams from the United States, Canada and Mexico. For the second year in a row, the Canadian team from École de Technologie Supérieure captured the top prize.

Members of the UM SBT includes primarily civil and environmental engineering students, but also a few from mechanical engineering, industrial and operations engineering and biomedical engineering. The U-M Steel Bridge Team is one hundred percent student-run. The team is advised by Associate Professor Jason McCormick, from the College of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Leah Dixon, Isaya Miyata, Liam Gibson, Chris Kuenzer, Alex Berka, Tyler Kemerer, Jared Millman, Kate Arnson (team co-captain), Lea Russo, Ari Baranian, Taylor Moon (team co-captain), Beatrice Thaman, Jason McCormick and Gwen Hubbard traveled to Oregon for the competition.

The team looks to build upon this year's success, as they recruit new members and start to design their next competition bridge beginning in September.  Find out more about the University of Michigan Steel Bridge Team


U-M Steel Bridge Team

U-M Steel Bridge Competition

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