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University Students Display Engineering Prowess in National Steel Bridge Competition

June 13, 2013 from American Institute of Steel Construction

(Chicago, IL) – For the second consecutive year, a team of students from the University of California, Berkeley, have been named champions in the 2013 ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC), which took place May 31-June 1 at the University of Washington’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering in Seattle. Also for the second straight year, second place overall went to the team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. University of California, Davis, took third place overall this year.

About 600 students from 49 qualifying teams convened to showcase their engineering skills in the competition finals. This inter-collegiate competition challenges civil engineering students to work together to design, fabricate and construct their own scaled steel bridges in the shortest time and under specific building constraints.

The bridges were judged in six key categories related to steel design and construction: construction speed; stiffness; lightness; construction economy; display; and efficiency. The teams with the best combined rankings across all six categories earn overall award recognition.

This is the third time UC Berkeley has won the national title in their history.

“I am very excited and proud of our team,” says Fayad Rahman, captain and project manager of the 30-member UC Berkeley Steel Bridge Team. “We all had great, great fun, but it turned out to be one of the best learning experiences and helped further my development as an engineer.”

Throughout the academic year, student teams work for months perfecting the design, fabrication and construction of each bridge. To reach the national event, each team must place among the top schools in one of 18 regional competitions held across the country each year. This year, 210 university teams from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico participated in the regional competitions.

“It’s exciting to watch the next generation of structural engineers come together and work with such passion and enthusiasm,” said Nancy Gavlin, AISC director of education. “The competition poses real-world challenges that the students face with ingenuity and professionalism.”

The top three winners in each category were:

Construction Speed

  • University of California, Davis
  • SUNY College of Technology at Canton
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering


  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • University of Akron
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks


  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Davis
  • Michigan Technological University


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo


  • Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Lakehead University
  • Clemson University


  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Akron
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks

The NSSBC is sponsored by AISC in cooperation with ASCE and is co-sponsored by Bentley Systems, DS SolidWorks Corp., Nucor, the National Steel Bridge Alliance, the James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation, the American Iron and Steel Institute, the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, and the Steel Structures Education Foundation.

The complete competition rankings are available at www.nssbc.info. You can also view photos from this year’s competition on AISC’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AISCdotORG in the “NSSBC 2013” photo album. A video showing highlights from the competition will soon be available on AISC’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/AISCSteelTV.

Next year’s NSSBC will be held May 23-24 at the University of Akron in Ohio. To learn more about the NSSBC, visit www.aisc.org/steelbridge or www.nssbc.info.


For more information contact:

Tasha Weiss
Communications Department
(312) 670-5439
[email protected]


American Institute of Steel Construction
The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC’s mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including: specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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