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Lakehead, Hawaii-Manoa, Michigan Tech Dominate 20th Anniversary Competition
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 23, 2011 at 11:50 AM.

Teams from the first and last heats in Saturday’s 2011 National Student Steel Bridge Competition emerged as two of the big winners, as one of the original steel bridge competitors also made an impressive comeback.


Lakehead University 2011 NSSBC

The Lakehead University team competed in the first heat, along with four other teams, and turned in the day’s fastest construction time of 4.74 minutes. Lakehead’s bridge also placed first in the efficiency category, second in economy, and took first place in the overall scoring.


At just 141 lb, Lakehead’s bridge was the lightest this year, followed by the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s 156-lb structure.


Hawaii-Manoa NSSBC 2011Hawaii-Manoa drew the 48th slot in the competition order, which meant they didn’t construct their bridge until some time after 6:30 p.m. Their bridge took first place in the stiffness category with an aggregate deflection score of just 0.264 in. That combined with being the second lightest bridge in the competition to earn a second place award in efficiency. The Hawaii-Manoa bridge also took second place in the display category, right behind first place Georgia Institute of Technology.


Mechigan Tech NSSBC 2011Michigan Technological University also emerged with multiple awards this year. Michigan Tech which was one of three schools in the first years of competition but did not make it to the finals last year. The school’s 2011 bridge placed second in construction speed (with a time of 5.45 minutes), third in economy and efficiency, and ranked second overall.


The final scores for the 2011 competition are available at through a link in the Rules & Results column.


To see a video of the Lakehead University team performing its award-winning assembly, go to


This year marks the 20th National Student Steel Bridge Competition. AISC, which supported the competition in its early years, remains its primary sponsor with ASCE as primary co-sponsor. Industry sponsors this year include Bentley Systems, DSS Solidworks Corp., Nucor, the National Steel Bridge Alliance, the James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation, the American Iron and Steel Institute, the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, and the Steel Structures Education Foundation.


Mark your calendars for May 25-26, 2012, when Clemson University will host the next National Student Steel Bridge Competition finals.

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