(April 22, 2019) — UTSA civil engineering students applied knowledge learned in the classroom to practical use, sweeping the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Regional Steel Bridge Competition held at UTSA over the weekend. The UTSA American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Steel Bridge Team placed first overall and took first in the following categories: Construction Economy, Structural Efficiency, Lightness, Aesthetics, Construction Speed and Stiffness.
Participation in the UTSA ASCE Steel Bridge Team teaches students structural engineering problem solving, practical machine shop skills and teamwork with other engineers. After preparing for eight months, the team competed against the best engineering schools in the region. The UTSA ASCE team is now counted among the top finishers across the nation and qualify to compete at the 2019 National Finals to be held at Southern Illinois University Carbondale May 31 – June 1.
This inter-collegiate competition is a visual display of students’ structural design and analysis skills at work. Teams are challenged to design, fabricate and construct their own one-tenth-scale steel bridge in the shortest time and under specific building constraints that reflect real-life structural specifications and construction regulations.
The Student Steel Bridge Competition also increases awareness of real-world engineering issues such as spatial constraints, material properties, strength, serviceability, fabrication and erection processes, safety, esthetics and cost.
“Participation in hands-on events such as the Steel Bridge Competition gives our students the opportunity to work as a team to develop intellectual, leadership, and professional abilities,” states Manuel Diaz, chair of the UTSA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “This exceptional team of students has exhibited these skills at their highest capacity, and they will carry the lessons they have learned through this experience into their professional lives.”
ASCE-UTSA has been an active participant in the steel bridge competition since 1989. UTSA has consistently been successful, bringing home numerous first place regional trophies for overall performance and many category awards. Last year the UTSA team went on to win the Ingenuity Award at the National Steel Bridge Competition.