AISC Steel Bridge Design
The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) steel bridge competition is a student contest that tests the knowledge and practicality of teams of university students in the field of structural engineering. Ideally, the design and fabrication of the bridge is conceived and completed entirely by the students and the participation of the students in the process is highly encouraged. The bridges must follow specifications explained in the rule book. The rules of the competition are changed annually to further enhance the quality of the competition and to prevent the submission of an already existing bridge. During competition, each team’s bridge will be judged and ranked based on several different categories.
The different categories in the competition that are judged are as follows:
- Display: Includes appearance of bridge, identification of the school on the bridge, and the poster that explains the thought process and includes sponsors, advisors, and technicians. (Display is only used as a tiebreaker, however, the lack of information either on the poster or on the bridge itself will results in an added weight penalty to the bridge)
- Construction Speed: The team that constructs the bridge with the quickest time (including added time penalties) wins this category
- Construction economy: A formula is devised to calculate a dollar amount based on the number of builders, the time of the assembly, and the use of temporary piers. The team with the lowest dollar amount wins this category
- Lightness: The team with the lightest bridge (including weight penalties) wins this category
- Stiffness: The team with the lowest aggregate deflection wins this category
- Structural efficiency: A formula is devised to calculate a dollar amount based on the weight and deflection of the bridge. The team with the lowest dollar amount wins this category
The overall winner has the lowest sum from the construction economy and structural efficiency categories.
Following their victory in the New York metropolitan regional contest at Rowan University, our Steel Bridge team advanced to the Finals. For the 2023 Regional ASCE Steel Bridge Competition, we almost had a clean sweep! The rankings are as follows:
The team's noteworthy achievements were particularly evident in the economy category, where they ranked #12 nationwide, and in the construction speed category, where they achieved an impressive #10 in the nation.
Concrete Canoe Competition
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) National Concrete Canoe Competition (NCCC) provides students with a practical application of the engineering principles they learn in the classroom, along with important team and project management skills they will need in their careers. The event challenges the students' knowledge, creativity and stamina, while showcasing the versatility and durability of concrete as a building material.
The Concrete Canoe Competition is designed to provide civil engineering students with an opportunity to gain hands-on, practical experience and leadership skills by working with concrete mix designs and project management. Organizers, sponsors and participants are dedicated to building awareness of concrete technology and application, as well as the versatility and durability of concrete as a construction material, among civil engineering students, educators, practitioners, the concrete industry and the general public. They also strive to increase awareness among industry leaders, opinion makers and the general public of civil engineering as a dynamic and innovative profession essential to society. In its history, the National Concrete Canoe Competition has challenged the knowledge, creativity and stamina of more than 400 teams and 5000 students.
Concrete canoe teams must design their canoes from scratch. Typically they create the shape of the hull with a computer design program specifically made for yachts, canoes, and other watercraft. The shape is optimized for racing. This hull shape is then given to a construction team, responsible for making a mold for the canoe to be formed on.
A special concrete mix is designed over several months, emphasizing among other qualities, an optimal balance between strength and low density. For the purpose of the competition, concrete is defined as a mixture of cement, of which at least 30% (by mass) must be portland cement, and aggregate, which must constitute at least 25% (by volume) of the mix. The aggregate need not be conventional construction aggregate (sand, etc.), but may include materials such as hollow glass beads and fibers. Epoxy is not permitted. Up to 50% of the thickness of the canoe may be a reinforcement mesh.
The finalized mix design is placed on the form; the hull thickness usually ranges from about 3/8" to 3/4". Teams later spend hundreds of hours sanding and applying exterior graphics to their canoes for a nice finish. Scoring in the competition is based on the quality of construction, race performance, a design paper, and a business presentation.
On the weekend of competition, teams of engineering students will gather for a weekend designed to be both challenging and fun. Twenty-five percent of each team's total team score will be based on the engineering design and construction principles used in the creation of their concrete canoe; 25 percent will be based on a technical design report detailing the planning, development, testing and construction of their canoe; and 25 percent will be based on a formal business presentation highlighting the canoe's design, construction, racing ability and other innovative features. The remaining 25 percent of each team's score is based on the performance of the canoe and the paddlers in five different race events: men's and women's slalom/endurance races, and men's, women's and co-ed sprint races.
For this year's ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition, our Student-led team came in Second Place Overall!
3D Printed Bridge Competition
Bridging the engineering discipline to the future of designing safe and durable structures!
This competition is an acknowledgment of the importance of creative thinking within engineering! The competition will cultivate innovation that transcends generations and will provide teams opportunities to grow and challenge their skills. The goal of the 3D Printed Bridge Competition is to promote the application of 3D printing technology in the field of engineering. This competition will allow students to familiarize themselves with the process of presenting a
problem statement, determining a workable solution, and physically producing their design. Students will demonstrate teamwork, organization, analytical skills, and creativity throughout the process of the competition. Teams should include the skills needed: structural, computer, and a good sense of style!
For this year's ASCE 3D Printed Bridge Competition, our Student-led team came in Second Place Overall!
ASCE Timber Bridge
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Forestry Products Society’s (FPS) National Timber Bridge Design Competition is a nationally recognized competition in which students teams are required to design, construct, and test a model bridge consisting of wood structural members. This timber bridge must be in compliance with the criterion specified by the competition coordinators, Southwest Mississippi Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D), Inc. The main objectives of this competition are to promote wood as a competitive bridge construction material, generate innovative and cost-effective timber bridge design techniques, and to develop an appreciation for the capabilities of wood in engineering applications.
The competition aims to raise awareness of rural America's increasingly deficient infrastructure. Specifically, bridges are an essential component of the transportation of agriculture and timber crop from the field to the processing mills. The profusion of structurally deficient bridges has come to heavily restrict the movement of goods and services within and between rural landscapes. Currently, many bridges are constructed using steel and concrete members. In the context of a rural environment, these modes of construction can be difficult, costly, and less aesthetically pleasing in comparison to timber bridges.