Students steel bridge competed in the ASCE Great Lake Regional Student Conference

DesignThe last time Northwestern civil engineering students participated in the steel bridge competition was 2003.  This year a group of enthusiastic and energized students not just revived the NU American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter (from 2 members to 40), they designed and fabricated a 21-ft bridge with a 16-ft main span and a 5-ft cantilever over a wetland and took it to the ASCE sponsored competition in Milwaukee. 

Due to a dispute in the interpretation of a dimension, the head judge disqualified the NU bridge.  However, the NU bridge was competitive in two categories.  The bridge weighed in at 154.2 lb, was the lightest raw weight in the Conference among 14 bridges.  The total construction time was the 4th fastest. 

Despite the disappointment, the bridge team, led by seniors Francesca Ferro in design and Ken Fuller in finance, was in high spirit and fully enjoyed the experience.  Other team members were senior Patrick Rice, juniors Galen Reed, Hannah Iezzoni, and Kendra Pickard; sophomores Daniel Lambson, Kelly Au, and Adrienne Masterton; and freshman Timothy Clark.  In a true multi-disciplinary team effort, the NU students collaborated with the American Welding Society Student Chapter at Kankakee Technical College on the welding of the bridge components.

The students have already selected a new captain, junior Galen Reed for next year's competition in steel bridge.  They will also expand their preparation to compete in other events including concrete canoe, geotechnical and environmental engineering.  In addition to the steel bridge, the students also competed in the technical paper category.  This year's topic was "Is it ethical for ASCE to do a report card on infrastructure?".  Sophomore Adrienne Masterton submitted the paper and presented it during the Conference.  The paper was placed 4th in the Conference.

Steel Team