University of Utah Steel Bridge Team Advances to the National Competition

On Saturday, April 2, the University of Utah’s Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers earned a spot at the National Steel Bridge Competition, held this year on May 27-28 at BYU. Only the top three teams advance from the Rocky Mountain Regional Conference. The regional conference was contested this year at Denver, CO. The region consists of schools from the states of Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

Each of the 14 teams competing this year designed and fabricated a steel bridge before the event. During the competition, the teams race to construct their bridge. The bridge this year spanned 21-feet, crossed a river, and supported 2,500 pounds. A team’s cost comes from a formula that combines time to construct the bridge, the number of construction laborers used by the team, the weight of the bridge, and the deflection of the bridge when it supports the required load. Costs are added for construction and/or design violations. Teams’ bridges are ranked by lowest total cost.

Last year over 225 teams across North America vied for 47 positions at the national competition. Hence, it is a great honor for this year’s team to have made to the national level. Utah’s team is captained by Kevin Simmons and includes construction team members Tom Buhler, Treven Edwards, Ian Hartman, Alan Palmer, and Nick Reay.