University Programs

Student Steel Bridge Competition

Welcome to AISC's Student Steel Bridge Competition (SSBC) website!  Here, you will find the information you need to know about the 2019 Regional Events and the National Finals.  As this will be AISC's first year organizing the Regional Events, we are continuing to develop more information at this time.  Please check back for additional details.

Without further ado, here are the SSBC 2019 Rules!

Download the OFFICIAL SSBC 2019 Rules


Regional Event Participation

IMPORTANT: If your school's team plans to compete in the upcoming Regional Event in your area, the team's FACULTY ADVISOR must complete the team registration form linked below by December 31, 2018.

Register Your Team

Additional Information

2019 Regional Events 2019 National Finals
For competition dates and locations,
and information for hosts.
For the competition date, location, and
link to host school website.

What's new for 2019?

Beginning with the 2019 competition year, AISC became the sole organizing sponsor of the Regional Competitions. We know this change may bring about changes for some and questions for many. In anticipation of this, a list of FAQs and answers are listed below (click the plus sign in the upper right corner to view). We will add to this list as we receive questions.

Is the Student Steel Bridge Competition still happening in 2019?

Yes. The AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition is alive and well, and we intend to continue to grow and improve it. Rules will be issued in August as expected, and all colleges and universities in the U.S. and U.S. territories with an engineering or engineering technology program are invited to participate. AISC will support and help to coordinate regional Competitions (or, Regional Events) as desired by the host schools. All you need to participate is a student team and a faculty advisor. The team can be an ASCE student chapter, a club, or just a group of students with a faculty advisor.


Are AISC and ASCE both still partners in the Student Steel Bridge Competition?

No. With respect and appreciation for our many years together as partners, AISC decided to separate from ASCE because differences in our organizational goals grew to become fundamentally incompatible.


What differences caused AISC to separate from ASCE?

There are two main differences that we’ve discussed between us for several years:


  1. AISC has a domestic focus while ASCE has international growth goals.
  2. AISC prefers fewer eligibility restrictions while ASCE desires to increase ASCE Chapter requirements in order to qualify to participate.

These differences are not new and were small at first but have both grown with time. They have been discussed progressively for many years, and previously, we found common ground. We didn’t find common ground this time.


Did AISC and ASCE attempt to resolve these differences?

Yes. When ASCE informed AISC in May 2018 that they had made changes to their eligibility criteria and would like to expand international participation, AISC responded that such changes were not agreeable. We actively discussed possible solutions for the two months between then and August 2018. Multiple compromise proposals were put on the table, but none were found acceptable to both AISC and ASCE.


Why must this separation take place now?

The annual calendar of events requires the start of activities for the 2019 Competition in August of 2018. With no other option left on the table, AISC informed ASCE of our decision.


Did AISC separate because of a vote taken by its Board of Directors?

No. This has been claimed but is not correct; there was no such vote. The AISC Board was updated on the state of the disagreement between AISC and ASCE. They confirmed that the decisions were for AISC staff to make. Thereafter, AISC staff made the decision to inform ASCE we would separate.


Has AISC decided to include only U.S. schools in the AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition?

Yes. AISC is funded by the domestic steel industry in the U.S. and focuses on the domestic industry, design community, and academia. While we were comfortable in the past subsidizing limited non-domestic participation to accommodate the needs and wishes of ASCE as our partner, we now must return to the domestic focus of our mission as we move forward on our own. Schools located in the U.S. and U.S. territories with an engineering or engineering technology program are all welcome to compete in the AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition.


What are AISC’s goals for the bridge teams?

We want a simple Competition that’s fun, meaningful, and rewarding. We want to give you the rare opportunity to design, build, and test a structure and to experience teamwork, project planning, leadership, and project management from conception through construction. We'll keep the process simple, provide practical value, and focus on you and the Competition.


What are AISC’s goals for the regional Competitions?

We believe the regional Competitions should be just that: groups of nearby schools where the gathering can help foster current and future professional relationships.


What are AISC’s goals for the national Competition?

We want the national Competition to parallel the regionals with the top-performing bridge teams in each regional Competition meeting.


What is AISC doing for the international schools who are affected by this decision?

In Canada, the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) already operates a parallel national competition in Canada. We have offered to share our rules and help them if they desire our assistance. In Mexico, we also have offered to assist the Instituto Mexicano de la Construcción en Acero (IMCA) to establish a national competition in Mexico. In any other country, AISC is happy to work with its equivalent organization in that country to help them create a competition in their country.


Are domestic ASCE student chapters still welcome to participate?

Yes. AISC welcomes all domestic ASCE student chapters to participate in the AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition. This affiliation is not required, however, and bridge teams can be created separately from ASCE student chapter activities. It's up to you.


Can a regional Competition be hosted in conjunction with a domestic ASCE regional conference?

Yes. AISC welcomes any domestic host school that wishes to hold their regional Competition (Regional Event) as an independent event in conjunction with their ASCE regional student event weekend. This is not required, however, and it can be held as a standalone event on a different date. It's up to the host.


Does AISC provide insurance for the regional and national competitions?

Yes, AISC has both a General Liability and Umbrella coverage for all of the regional and national events.


How do we participate in the 2019 AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition?

All information related to the 2019 AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition can be found at  Any updates also will be posted there as well.


What’s a basic snapshot of the new process?

There are no significant changes to the format of the Competition and the new process is largely similar to the old process. Following is a snapshot of the basics:

  • Obtain the 2019 Rules (to be released in August) and start designing your bridge!
  • Register your team by December 31.
  • All schools in the U.S. and U.S. territories with an engineering or engineering technology program are eligible to participate.
  • A faculty advisor is required.
  • Requirements and the registration form can be found on AISC website.

What are AISC’s eligibility requirements for participation?

You must represent a school in the U.S. or U.S. territories with an engineering or engineering technology program to be eligible to participate. You also must have a faculty advisor. That’s it.


How will the regional Competitions work?

You will participate in Regional Events organized by a host school and AISC. Regional divisions will remain the same as the U.S. ASCE conferences. Exceptions may be made for new schools and special cases. Dates and locations of the Regional Events will be posted on the AISC website.  Some Regional Events may be held concurrently with the ASCE conference as an independent event. Schools participating at a Regional Event will receive at least $250 funding from AISC.


How will the national Competition work?

The AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition - 2019 National Finals will be held in late spring, 2019. The highest-scoring teams at the Regional Events will qualify for the National Finals. Schools participating at the National Finals will receive at least $500 funding from AISC.


Can AISC help us make connection to our local steel industry to help us?

Yes. AISC will help you connect to a local steel fabricator, if you need our help.


Can AISC help us in other ways?

Yes. Tell us what you need, and we’ll do whatever we can. Please contact Christina Harber, AISC Director of Education (; 312.670.8312) or Maria Mnookin, AISC Education Program Manager (; 312.670.5418).