The Steel Bridge team is another popular organization to get involved with as an ASCE member. The group spends the entire school year designing a steel bridge to compete against the other schools in our region at the Mid-Continent ASCE Regional Conference, like the Concrete Canoe team. To get involved, contact either Daniel Nagati at email@example.com or Josh Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team begins the year by assigning duties to its team members and starting the fundraising process. Then the design process begins. Each year the team comes up with a new design using AutoCAD, RISA (a structural analysis program), as well as other programs.
After the team finishes their design, they must begin the fabrication process after they have obtained their steel. This is a crucial process involving welding, cutting, and precise measurements.
After the pieces are together, the team spends time on practicing for the competition. The team must put their bridge together as fast as possible, but cannot make a mistake that would jeopardize the loading process, which follows the construction. Teams are judged on their construction time, deflection during loading, and aesthetics.
In Carbondale, IL in April 2009, our team took 4th place overall! This was a huge improvement over the last few years. The team is looking to build on this success this year. Like Concrete Canoe, students of ALL ages may participate and all have something to contribute, regardless of your year in school or skills. Steel Bridge is a great learning experience - you can learn about designing steel members, drawing in AutoCAD, welding, constructing, and of course working well as a team in a competitive environment!
To see more pictures, check out the Steel Bridge photos!