École de Technologie Supérieure Wins NSSBC Second Year in a Row

The École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS) student steel bridge team. (Photo: AISC) 

The student steel bridge team from École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS) in Montreal, Canada, were named champions of the 2017 ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC), hosted by Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., May 26-27. This is the second consecutive year ÉTS has won first place overall in this national intercollegiate competition that showcases excellence in civil engineering, innovation and teamwork.

“The competition was very impressive and tough between the top universities. We were so proud to be there and to now represent our university as champions for the second year in a row,” said Marie-Pier Diotte, a graduating civil engineering student and captain of the 20-member steel bridge team at ÉTS. “Determination is how we did it. We put together our team based on the same goal and spent so many hours per week with each other so that we could be on the same path, and we became more like a family.”

Throughout the academic year, student teams devote countless hours perfecting the design, fabrication and construction of their own scale-model (1:10) steel bridge under a set of rules that reflect real-life structural specifications and construction regulations. To achieve success in the competition, students must be able to apply engineering concepts and effectively work together to assemble their bridge under the pressure of the clock.

“Two things were a priority for us this year,” added Diotte. “First, the simplicity of our thinking in the conception of our bridge. Second, the easy construction feasibility and the efficiency of our bridge concept. Furthermore, a particular challenge for our team was recruiting and training new members, which was necessary because so many members of our team are graduating this summer and we want to continue our national performance.”

Bridge rankings were based on the categories of construction speed, stiffness, lightness, economy, display and efficiency. The teams with the best combined rankings across all categories earned overall award recognition. Forty-three university and college teams competed in the 26th annual national competition, narrowed down from a total of 227 teams that participated in 18 regional competitions throughout the spring.

“Again this year the students created an interesting variety of bridge designs and developed novel construction methods,” said Nancy Gavlin, AISC’s director of education. “It's exciting to get a glimpse of what the future holds for us.”

The full results and more information about the competition can be found at or An article about the competition will also be included in our August issue.