Missouri S&T’s Steel Bridge team wins regional event, will compete at nationals

RDN REPORTS
rdnnews@gmail.com

Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Steel Bridge Design Team recently won first place at a regional American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Mid-Continent Student Conference and will now put their bridge engineering and construction skills to the test at the national level. 

The national finals competition results will be announced June 3. Both the regional and national competitions are held virtually this year. 

At the regional event, Missouri S&T earned first place overall, as well as first place in construction speed and aesthetics, and second place in bridge lightness, bridge economy, and efficiency. This is the third competition in a row that Missouri S&T has won the regional competition and qualified for the national event.

At the national competition, Missouri S&T’s Steel Bridge Design Team will compete against other collegiate teams from around the country to construct a scale-model bridge as fast as possible. The competition is scored based on a dollar amount rather than a points system. This scoring simulates the accounting process involved in determining the budget for an actual bridge construction project.

The bridge is scored on its weight and rigidity, construction speed and the number of team members building the bridge. Penalties are assessed for infractions like dropping bolts, holding two pieces of the bridge at once and stepping over designated lines. 

The Student Steel Bridge Competition is designed to supplement a civil engineering education with a comprehensive student-driven project experience from conception and design through fabrication, construction and testing. The result should be a steel structure that meets client specifications and optimizes performance and economy. The competition also increases awareness of real-world engineering issues like spatial constraints, material properties, strength, safety and cost. 

The Steel Bridge Design Team is one of the 20 student-run groups in Missouri S&T’s Student Design and Experiential Learning Center (SDELC). The SDELC, housed in the Kummer Student Design Center, provides teams with computer design laboratories, a manufacturing shop, office space and logistical support. Design teams mirror small start-up companies that plan large-scale projects, organize into departments, raise funds, communicate their ideas and solve open-ended design challenges. Almost every team competes annually at an event against other collegiate teams from around the country and the world. For more information about the teams, visit design.mst.edu.

The S&T Steel Bridge Design Team during the 2021 regional competition. Photo by Tom Wagner, Missouri S&T SDELC.

The following S&T students are a part of the team:

  • Cole Allen, a junior in architectural and civil engineering from Wentzville, Missouri
  • Kelton Back, a freshman in environmental engineering from St. Louis
  • Meet Bhakta, a senior in civil engineering from Columbia, Missouri
  • Carter Blake, a sophomore in civil engineering from Lake Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Kyle Bryan, a sophomore in civil engineering from St. Peters, Missouri
  • Lauren Coulter, a senior in civil engineering from Edwardsville, Illinois
  • Ben Dyhouse, a senior in architectural and civil engineering from Olathe, Kansas
  • Benjamin Harris, a junior in business and management systems from St. Peters, Missouri
  • Ryan Highfill, a sophomore in civil engineering from Ozark, Missouri
  • Patrick Keough, a junior in civil engineering from Huntington Beach, California
  • William Lieser, a sophomore in civil engineering from Jamestown, Missouri
  • Hollis Long, a senior in metallurgical engineering from Fulton, Missouri
  • Brett Murray, a senior in civil engineering from Bolivar, Missouri
  • Steven Puder, a senior in architectural engineering from Waterloo, Illinois
  • Jordan Pugh, a senior in architectural and civil engineering from Pacific, Missouri
  • Jordan Sanzottera, a senior in civil engineering from Wentzville, Missouri
  • Tyler Sanzottera, a senior in civil engineering from Wentzville, Missouri
  • Jacob Schanz, a junior in civil engineering from Mascoutah, Illinois
  • Brendan Schmidt, a senior in civil engineering from St. Peters, Missouri
  • Krysta Swartz, a junior in civil engineering from Caseyville, Illinois
  • Harper Thomsen, a junior in civil engineering from Belton, Missouri
  • Michael Winner, a senior in civil engineering from St. Peters, Missouri.