S&T’s Steel Bridge Team Wins Regionals, To Compete in Nationals

By on April 15, 2019

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 will be held May 31-June 1 at the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. This is the second year in a row that Missouri S&T has won the regional competition and qualified for the national event.

During the regional competition held in April, Missouri S&T’s team earned three awards, including first place in construction economy scoring, first place in construction speed and first place overall.

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. Each bridge is also “load tested” to see if it can hold a required amount of weight.

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, esthetics and cost.

The Steel Bridge team is one of the 20 student-run groups 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:

  • Lonnie Boutwell, a freshman in undergraduate studies from Warrensburg, Missouri
  • Shane Burkdoll, a senior in civil engineering from Stockton, Missouri
  • Claire Croley, a sophomore in architectural engineering from Springfield, Missouri
  • Krista Deffenbaugh, a senior in civil engineering from Lee’s Summit, Missouri
  • Ben Dyhouse, a junior in civil engineering from Olathe, Kansas
  • Nikkolas Edgmond, a graduate student in civil engineering from Labadie, Missouri
  • Scott Geisinger, a senior in civil engineering from Gladstone, Missouri
  • Brendan Judge, a senior in mechanical engineering from Eureka, Missouri
  • Jon Kuchem, a graduate student in civil engineering from Augusta, Missouri
  • Hollis Long, a junior in metallurgical engineering from Fulton, Missouri
  • Erin McKinney, a junior in mechanical engineering from Swansea, Illinois
  • Ana Messmer, a senior in civil engineering from Festus, Missouri
  • Brett Murray, a senior in civil engineering from Bolivar, Missouri
  • Lucas Ochs, a senior in mechanical engineering from Lee’s Summit, Missouri
  • Paige Oursler, a senior in mechanical engineering from Columbia, Missouri
  • Steven Puder, a senior in architectural engineering from Waterloo, Illinois
  • Jordan Pugh, a junior in civil engineering from Pacific, Missouri
  • Brendan Schmidt, a sophomore in civil engineering from St. Peter’s, Missouri
  • Alex Schull, a senior in civil engineering from Washington, Missouri.

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