Student Bridge Design Teams to Compete in National Finals May 31, June 1

The Student Steel Bridge Competition team from California State University, Fresno competed in the Mid-Pacific Regional Competition.

Nearing the end of a successful competition season, qualifying student teams from 49 U.S. colleges and universities will go head-to-head at the 2024 Student Steel Bridge Competition National Finals on May 31 and June 1 at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La.

This year’s participants, who advanced from 20 regional competitions earlier this spring, were challenged to design and fabricate a functional, aesthetically pleasing bridge to cross over a man-made river in a disc golf course--without using piers. They must then assemble their bridges in a timed setting. This year, the competition rules allow for up to two builders to act as barges within the river if they choose, but at an additional cost.

"It will be a very exciting competition weekend," said Kristi Sattler, SE, PE, PhD, AISC’s university education manager. "I'm looking forward to seeing how these top teams creatively approach one of the widest-ever rivers and whether they’ll opt for the added cost of barges!"

As in previous years, once the scale steel bridges are constructed, they face a variety of tests, including a vertical load test in which they must support 2,500 lbs of steel angles.

Judges will assess bridges for excellence in several categories: aesthetics, construction speed, lightness, stiffness, construction economy, structural efficiency, cost estimation, and overall performance.

Teams may also compete in an optional video award category that provides an opportunity to showcase their bridge’s unique design features, fabrication process, and other information they’d like to share with the judges.

Four standout teams will also walk away with special awards: the SSBC Team Engagement Award; the John M. Yadlosky Most Improved Team Award; the Robert E. Shaw, Jr. Spirit of the Competition Award; and the Frank J. Hatfield Ingenuity Award.

National Finals events begin at 3:00 p.m. Central on Friday, May 31 with aesthetics judging on the Louisiana Tech Quad. The main competition begins at 8:00 a.m. the following morning at the Ruston Sports Complex.

The teams competing this year are:

  • Auburn University
  • Brigham Young University
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • California State University, Northridge
  • Christian Brothers University
  • Drexel University
  • George Mason University
  • Harding University
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Lafayette College
  • Liberty University
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • New York University Tandon School of Engineering
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • South Dakota School of Mines
  • SUNY College of Technology at Canton
  • Trine University
  • Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
  • Universidad Panamericana, Guadalajara
  • Université Laval
  • University at Buffalo
  • University of Alaska Anchorage
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Florida
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota Duluth
  • University of Missouri, Columbia
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • University of New Orleans
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
  • University of Texas at Arlington
  • University of Texas at Tyler, Houston Engineering Center
  • University of Wisconsin Platteville
  • Utah State University
  • Virginia Tech
  • Western Kentucky University
  • William Jewell College
  • Youngstown State University