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Important Changes to the Student Steel Bridge Competition

There seems to be a bit of misinformation circulating concerning the Student Steel Bridge Competition. I'm happy to report the AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition is alive and well (and we hope will continue to grow and improve!). Beginning this year, the only change is that ASCE is no longer involved. For the past few years, AISC and ASCE have been diverging in their philosophy concerning the Student Steel Bridge Competition. There were two major points of contention: First, ASCE wanted to limit participation to ASCE chapters who met requirements unrelated to the competition (with the result that more than a quarter of the schools would not be allowed to participate) and AISC wanted the competition to be as inclusive as possible. Second, AISC is focused on the domestic market and ASCE wanted to continue to expand internationally.

As a result, AISC and ASCE have gone their separate ways—but rules will be issued in August as expected (with many of the same people involved on the rules committee) and every college and university in the U.S. is invited to participate. AISC will help to coordinate regional competitions, and depending on the preference of the hosting school, the event may or may not be held at the same time as the ASCE student conference. AISC expects to have a full-time staff member working with student groups and the host schools and will provide additional financial support.

Any school can participate—it just takes a faculty sponsor and a student team. The teams can be ASCE chapters, clubs, or just groups of students with a faculty sponsor. 

During the next month, AISC will be posting lots of information on its website and making contact with all faculty members involved in teaching steel design. I encourage you to visit AISC's website (www.aisc.org/nssbc). And if you have any questions, certainly give AISC a call at 1.312.670.2400.


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