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BYU takes first at the Student Steel Bridge regional competition

BYU's Steel Bridge Team went to Reno to participate in the Student Steel Bridge Competition in April. According to SSBC,

"This year, we asked engineering students across North America to design, fabricate, and construct a conceptual scaled steel bridge to serve as a hypothetical crossing in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. The bridge would allow users to access trails on both sides of Sweetwater River and also provide better access for park service vehicles. It must be able to support the weight of pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians as well as maintenance and park vehicles. Remember, this is a wildlife refuge, so engineers had to respect the existing habitat--no construction activity can take place within the river."

While there, BYU received first place in the region, excelling in 6 out of 8 categories. These categories were:

  • Construction speed (who could build the fastest)
  • Construction economy (who could build the fastest for the lowest cost based on time and number of builders; the other teams had 5 or 6 builders, but BYU only had 4)
  • Stiffness (BYU deflected the least out of all bridges with 0.57 inches in one location and 0.71 inches in the other...which is amazing because most of those bridges were through trusses which are potentially the stiffest kind!)
  • Structural efficiency (deflection for how heavy the bridge is i.e. BYU had the bridge that deflected the least given its weight)
  • Cost estimation (BYU had to estimate how close the costs due to construction economy and structural efficiency would be to those in real life)

Just last week, BYU's Steel Bridge team also won first for the optional video award competition. You can see their video here! The video was written, edited, and produced by Jerson Garcia a junior in civil engineering.