Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Steel Bridge Design Team earned second place at the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2016 Mid-Continent Student Conference that S&T hosted this past weekend. By doing so, the team qualified to compete at the national event, which will be held May 27-28 at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
During the competition, the team raced to construct its bridge as fast as possible. The bridge was scored on its weight and rigidity, construction speed and the number of team members building the bridge. Each bridge was also “load tested” to prove its weight-bearing abilities.
At the national event, approximately 50 teams will compete to construct their bridges against the clock. Infractions, such as dropping bolts, holding two pieces of the bridge at once or stepping over designated safety lines, incur time penalties.
Missouri S&T’s Concrete Canoe Design Team also competed at the regional conference and earned seventh place. After passing a “swamp test,” designed to test the buoyancy of the canoe, the team had to paddle its concrete boat in proof-of-concept women’s, men’s and combined sprints and endurance races to prove its construction integrity. Each team was also judged on engineering reports, a presentation and displays that illustrate the manufacturing process.
Missouri S&T’s canoe, named Alice after a former St. Pat’s tradition, weighed over 200 pounds and could hold up to four paddlers.
Throughout the spring semester, both teams’ members worked long hours in Missouri S&T’s Student Design and Experiential Learning Center, improving designs, fabricating parts and practicing for the competition.
The conference at S&T also hosted a concrete bowling competition to test the students’ ability to design and construct a concrete bowling ball that is practical, durable and aesthetically pleasing; and a GeoWall competition, where teams had to design and build a model of a mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining wall using paper reinforcement taped to a posterboard wall.
The regional, student-run conference was supported in part by the Missouri Department of Conservation, Columbia College, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the U.S. Geological Survey.