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Steel Structure Trivia: The First NSSBC
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 31, 2013 at 11:31 AM.


Here’s MSC’s May Steel Structure Trivia question! The above is a flashback photo from the first-ever National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC), when Michigan State University hosted 13 teams. Things have come a long way in the competition since then (for instance, standing on the bridge is now against the rules!) but the level of action and excitement hasn’t changed a bit! Today and tomorrow, nearly 50 university teams will converge at the University of Washington in Seattle to compete in the 2013 NSSBC finals. Your trivia question is: What year did the NSSBC begin? Photo: Frank Hatfield



The first NSSBC was held in 1992. Congratulations to our winners: Aaron Daley, a civil engineering student at the University of Kentucky; Ryan Couto, a structural engineer with Parsons Brinckerhoff, Boston; and Matthew Turner, a UC Davis alumnus who was the head advisor and designer on the university’s 2007 steel bridge team, nicknamed “Chrome Ollie,” which took second place overall that year.


Our trivia challenge was sort of a trick question. We had a few people respond to us with the year 1987, which is technically when it all started, but with a local competition. Bob Shaw, then AISC director of university programs, arranged a student steel bridge competition for three Michigan universities: Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Mich.; Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Mich.; and Wayne State University, Detroit.


Over the next four years additional schools joined the Michigan competition, and other local competitions developed throughout the country. Each of the local competitions claimed to have the best bridges in the country. To settle the issue, in 1992 Michigan State challenged all bridge teams to the first national competition in East Lansing, Mich.


Fromy Rosenberg, AISC director of university programs from 1990 to 2008, provided organizational, moral and monetary support for the competition. Thirteen teams competed and Michigan State won.


To learn more about the history of the NSSBC, you can read an article from our July 2011 issue.


Last weekend, the student engineering team from the University of California, Berkeley, were named champions in this year’s NSSBC, held at the University of Washington in Seattle.


You can view photos from the competition on AISC’s Facebook page at in the “NSSBC 2013” photo album. More info on the results to come soon!

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