University Programs

SSBC Special Awards

In addition to the competition category awards, special awards are given to eligible participating ​teams​.  The winning teams will be awarded an AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition Scholarship.  AISC will provide $1,000 in scholarship funds to a student or students of the team's choosing for the upcoming academic year.  The winning students must be named by September 1, 2021.

Below are the special awards for the Student Steel Bridge Competition.

SSBC Team Engagement Award

This award recognizes teams that foster equity, diversity, and inclusion. It celebrates formidable teams of smart people who draw from a broad array of backgrounds and experiences.

These backgrounds and experiences also may be very diverse. Your team will embrace the participation of all students regardless of race; color; religion or faith; sex; or the many other characteristics listed in the Competition Rules. Beyond that, some of your teammates may be just starting their undergraduate careers, while others may be on the cusp of entering professional practice with an advanced degree. Some may study topics outside engineering. Perhaps some demonstrate a remarkable commitment to the team by participating while working full-time. Still, others may juggle family life and build practice sessions, or be dedicated to following their own non-traditional educational path.

By creating an inclusive environment, you will benefit not just this year, but you will also sow the seeds for the future success of your team as you cultivate new leaders and establish a culture and processes to maximize participation and innovation.

The SSBC Team Engagement Award is presented to a team that demonstrates an outstanding commitment to building a diverse team, creating an inclusive environment, and appreciating the value of remarkable individuals working together to succeed. The basis for this competition is a one- to two-page written narrative that details how the team benefited from its efforts toward equity and diversity during recruiting, training, and while working together to design and create the best bridge they can.

All teams that compete at a Regional Event are eligible for this award; participation is not mandatory and will have no effect on scoring and other facets of the competition. Entries for the 2020 competition must be received before 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight-Saving Time, March 29, 2021 to be considered. The winner will be selected by the Rules Committee and announced by April 30. The winning team will receive an invitation to the National Finals.

Teams may apply for this award by completing the submission form linked below. Note: Please submit one form per team.  Multiple entries will not be considered.


Robert E. Shaw, Jr. Spirit of the Competition Award

The award is named for Robert E. Shaw, Jr. who founded the Student Steel Bridge Competition in the spring of 1987 as a means of challenging university and college students to use their engineering skills to design, fabricate, construct and test a scaled-version of a ​steel​ ​bridge​ in a friendly competition.

The Robert E. Shaw, Jr. Spirit of the Competition Award is presented to a ​team​ that demonstrates outstanding ​team​ comradery, professionalism, positive work ethic and respect for their competition peers.

All teams that compete at the SSBC National Finals are eligible for this award.

Frank J. Hatfield Ingenuity Award

The award is named for Frank J. Hatfield who was the Chair of the Student Steel Bridge Competition Rules Committee during its first three decades of existence. He was responsible for orchestrating the many evolutions of the rules since the first Student Steel Bridge Competition in 1992 and was involved in the competition from its inception.

The Frank J. Hatfield Ingenuity Award is presented to a ​team​ that shows the most engineering ingenuity in the design and/or construction of their ​bridge​ based on the requirements of the competition rules.

All teams that compete at the SSBC National Finals are eligible for this award.