Steel Bridge Team Takes First Place in Stiffness & Efficiency Categories at Nationals

The Steel Bridge team took first place in the Stiffness and Efficiency categories, fourth in the Lightness category, and ninth place overall at the Steel Bridge National Finals Competition (Photo Credit: Steel Bridge).
The Steel Bridge team took first place in the Stiffness and Efficiency categories, fourth in the Lightness category, and ninth place overall at the Steel Bridge National Finals Competition (Photo Credit: Steel Bridge).

The UC Berkeley Steel Bridge team competed at the ASCE National Finals Student Steel Bridge Competition hosted at UC San Diego and placed first in the Stiffness and Efficiency categories, fourth in the Lightness category, and ninth place overall!

For this year's competition, teams were asked to design and construct a conceptual scaled steel bridge in under 45 minutes to serve as a hypothetical crossing in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. The bridge would give users the ability to access trails on both sides of the Sweetwater River while also providing better access for park service vehicles. As part of the competition requirements, the bridge must be able to support the weight of pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians, along with maintenance and park vehicles. 

The Student Steel Bridge Competition is an annual competition that challenges student teams to develop a scale-model steel bridge. The team must determine how to fabricate their bridge and then plan for an efficient assembly under timed construction at the competition. Bridges are then load tested and weighed. The bridge must span approximately 20 feet, carry 2,500 pounds, and must meet all other specifications of the competition rules. Bridge aesthetics are also judged and considered in the final results of the competition.