Student Steel Bridge Competition Highlights the Future of Structural Engineering


A team of eleven civil engineering students from SUNY – Canton won the 18th annual ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition, held May 22-23, 2009 at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Second place went to the team from North Dakota State University – Fargo, while Lakehead University – Ontario, Canada, took third overall.

The top three winners in each category were:

Construction Speed

SUNY – Canton
Université Laval
Lakehead University


Université Laval
Lakehead University
SUNY Canton


University of Central Florida
Seattle University
University of Colorado, Denver


École de Technologie Supérieure
North Dakota State University
Lakehead University


North Dakota State University
Virginia Tech
University of Wisconsin, Madison


North Dakota State University
Virginia Tech
Washington State University

This year's competition featured 46 teams from universities around the United States and Canada. Each team of future structural engineers performed the steel design, steel fabrication, and steel erection required to construct 6 m-long scale-model bridges capable of carrying 1133 kg, serving as both a functional and appealing replacement for a century-old highway bridge. The bridges were judged in six key categories related to steel design and construction: construction speed, stiffness, lightness, economy, display, and efficiency.

Those teams with the best combined rankings across all six categories earn overall award recognition.
Student teams work for months perfecting the design, fabrication and construction of each bridge. To reach the national competition, each team must also place among the top schools in one of 18 regional competitions held across the country each year.

The National Student Steel Bridge Competition is sponsored by AISC in cooperation with the ASCE and is co-sponsored by the American Iron and Steel Institute, the National Steel Bridge Alliance, the James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation, Nucor Corporation, Bentley Systems, Inc., Steel Structures Education Foundation, and CISC-ICCA.
The 2010 National Student Steel Bridge Competition will be held on May 28-29 at Purdue University.

Source: American Institute of Steel Construction

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