S&T’s Steel Bridge team wins regional event, will compete at nationals

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On April 28, 2021

The Steel Bridge Design Team during the 2021 regional competition. Photo Tom Wagner, Missouri S&T’s SDELC.

Missouri S&T’s Steel Bridge Design Team recently won first place at a regional American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Mid-Continent Student Conference and will now put their bridge engineering and construction skills to the test at the national level.

The national finals competition results will be announced June 3. Both the regional and national competitions are held virtually this year.

At the regional event, S&T earned first place overall, as well as first place in construction speed and aesthetics, and second place in bridge lightness, bridge economy, and efficiency. This is the third competition in a row that Missouri S&T has won the regional competition and qualified for the national event.

The 2021 Steel Bridge Design Team. Photo by Tom Wagner, Missouri S&T SDELC.

At the national competition, Missouri S&T’s Steel Bridge Design Team will compete against other collegiate teams from around the country to construct a scale-model bridge as fast as possible. The competition is scored based on a dollar amount rather than a points system. This scoring simulates the accounting process involved in determining the budget for an actual bridge construction project.

The bridge is scored on its weight and rigidity, construction speed and the number of team members building the bridge. Penalties are assessed for infractions like dropping bolts, holding two pieces of the bridge at once and stepping over designated lines.

“Despite the unprecedented limitations imposed by the pandemic, the team excelled and received an award in all five categories,” says Dr. Nicolas Libre, team advisor and an associate teaching professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at S&T. “This achievement is even more valuable considering the fact that many team leaders graduated in the past couple of years; team captains Jordan and Brendan did an excellent job continuing the legacy of the previous team leaders.”

The Student Steel Bridge Competition is designed to supplement a civil engineering education with a comprehensive student-driven project experience from conception and design through fabrication, construction and testing. The result should be a steel structure that meets client specifications and optimizes performance and economy. The competition also increases awareness of real-world engineering issues like spatial constraints, material properties, strength, safety and cost. The team is supported by S&T’s Academy of Civil Engineering.

The Steel Bridge Design Team is one of the 19 student-run teams in Missouri S&T’s Student Design and Experiential Learning Center (SDELC). The SDELC, housed in the Kummer Student Design Center, provides teams with computer design laboratories, a manufacturing shop, office space and logistical support. Design teams mirror small start-up companies that plan large-scale projects, organize into departments, raise funds, communicate their ideas and solve open-ended design challenges. Almost every team competes annually at an event against other collegiate teams from around the country and the world. For more information about the teams, visit design.mst.edu.

The following S&T students are a part of the team:

Cole Allen, a junior in architectural and civil engineering from Wentzville, Missouri

Kelton Back, a freshman in environmental engineering from St. Louis

Meet Bhakta, a senior in civil engineering from Columbia, Missouri

Carter Blake, a sophomore in civil engineering from Lake Saint Louis, Missouri

Kyle Bryan, a sophomore in civil engineering from St. Peters, Missouri

Lauren Coulter, a senior in civil engineering from Edwardsville, Illinois

Ben Dyhouse, a senior in architectural and civil engineering from Olathe, Kansas

Benjamin Harris, a junior in business and management systems from St. Peters, Missouri

Ryan Highfill, a sophomore in civil engineering from Ozark, Missouri

Patrick Keough, a junior in civil engineering from Huntington Beach, California

William Lieser, a sophomore in civil engineering from Jamestown, Missouri

Hollis Long, a senior in metallurgical engineering from Fulton, Missouri

Brett Murray, a senior in civil engineering from Bolivar, Missouri

Steven Puder, a senior in architectural engineering from Waterloo, Illinois

Jordan Pugh, a senior in architectural and civil engineering from Pacific, Missouri

Jordan Sanzottera, a senior in civil engineering from Wentzville, Missouri

Tyler Sanzottera, a senior in civil engineering from Wentzville, Missouri

Jacob Schanz, a junior in civil engineering from Mascoutah, Illinois

Brendan Schmidt, a senior in civil engineering from St. Peters, Missouri

Krysta Swartz, a junior in civil engineering from Caseyville, Illinois

Harper Thomsen, a junior in civil engineering from Belton, Missouri

Michael Winner, a senior in civil engineering from St. Peters, Missouri.

About Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,600 students and part of the four-campus University of Missouri System. Located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 99 different degree programs in 40 areas of study and is ranked by CollegeFactual as the best public university to study engineering. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.

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