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Steel Shots: UC Davis Constructs Winning Bridge
Posted by Tasha Weiss on June 6, 2014 at 9:22 AM.

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Student team members from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) prepare for the vertical load test in the 2014 National Student Steel Bridge Competition finals, held over Memorial Day weekend at the University of Akron in Ohio. UC Davis won the overall award with their lightweight bridge design and excellence in efficiency. Photo: AISC

 

uc-davis-2-awards-presentation.jpgA team of 20 students from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) were named champions in the 2014 ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC), hosted by the University of Akron’s College of Engineering, May 23-24 in Akron, Ohio.  Left photo: Matt McCreary

 

For the third consecutive year, second place overall went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. University of California, Berkeley, took third place overall this year.

 

About 600 students from 47 college and university teams participated in the 23rd annual national competition and demonstrated their ability to design, fabricate and construct their own scaled steel bridge in the shortest time and under specific building constraints. This prestigious intercollegiate competition challenges civil engineering students to further expand upon their structural design and construction skills learned in the classroom and provides practical experience in communication and teamwork.

 

Categories of competition were construction speed, stiffness, lightness, economy, display and efficiency. The teams with the best combined rankings across all categories earn overall award recognition.

 

This is the second time UC Davis has won the national championship title in the school’s history. Their first win was in 2005.

 

“We were thrilled to come in first place,” said Quincy Dahm, S.M.ASCE, one of the team captains of the UC Davis steel bridge team. “It had been too long since our last victory, and we wanted to leave a mark this year. A few people were determined to make that happen and that’s what drove us to success, a lot of hours from a handful of students.”

 

Dahm also credits the team’s win to the extremely lightweight design of their bridge. At 79 lbs., their bridge was 12lbs. lighter than the second lightest, which allowed them to sit back at 6th and 9th place for stiffness and construction economy respectively. Of course, those categories required plenty of effort as well. “We practiced building the bridge nearly every day and fabrication demanded precision to keep deflection under control. If we slacked at all in any area, I doubt we would have gotten first place.”

 

“It has been a challenging year, and the student team worked extremely hard since the very beginning,” added Dawn Cheng, Ph.D., M.ASCE, faculty advisor for the UC Davis steel bridge team and associate professor at the UC Davis Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “This well-deserved achievement takes dedication, hard work and perfection of engineering and leadership skills. Winning is not the final goal of the competition. Being part of such a great life time experience is what matters.”

 

To view the top three winners in each category, see AISC’s press release.

 

The complete competition rankings are available at www.nssbc.info. Photos from this year’s competition can be found on AISC’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AISCdotORG) in the NSSBC 2014 photo album.

 

Next year’s NSSBC will be held May 22-23 at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. To learn more about the competition, visit www.aisc.org/steelbridge or www.nssbc.info.


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