UF wins ASCE Steel Bridge national championship

In Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, Engineering Education, News

UF Steel Bridge Team 2015

(L to R): Dr. Ferraro, Eugene Cho, Christine Pu, Shelby Brothers, Ryan Sullivan, Andrew Jenkins,
Justin Rayl (Captain), Kyle Willems, Juliana Rochester (Captain), Matt Davis, Mark Eason, Marlo Chumioque

Team captains Justin Rayl and Juliana Rochester report back on the national championship event.

Read more about the national championship team and the competition on the team’s website.

The Team

Juliana Rochester (captain), Justin Rayl (captain), Kyle Willems, Andrew Jenkins, Ryan Sullivan, Eugene Cho, Matt Davis, Mark Eason, Will Bowman, Eric Johnson, Christine Pu, Molly Behan and Rita Kalo; Dr. Ferraro, Dr. Sputo and Dr. Newman. Additional support came from Alex Esposito, Shelby Brothers and Marlo Chumioque.

The Competition

Teams traveled to compete in Kansas City from China, Canada, Mexico, and all over the U.S. – including Alaska.

The Design

After designing four prototypes, a final bridge design was selected by the group and was then fully optimized by team captain, Juliana Rochester. It was a combination of a two-dimensional and three-dimensional girder that was very minimalistic. It completely relied upon the 1 ¾” outside diameter truss to carry the entire load, with four webs connecting the mid portion of the girder to the truss.

The Assembly

SteelBridge2015-2In practice runs, assembly team members Justin Rayl, Kyle Willems, and Andrew Jenkins got their time down to 7:29. During the competition, the polished floors were slick and they had to be careful with their speeds while they put the bridge together. Everything went according to plan with one minor exception – a bolt fell and touched the ground and incurred a 15 second penalty. The final time was 8:48, and the weight of the bridge was apparently ten pounds lighter than any other team’s.

The Results

Our team won for lightness and structural efficiency. The speaker called up third place overall, Ecole de Technologie Superieure, then second place was California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. When the speaker said, “first place overall for the National Student Steel Bridge Competition is the University of Florida,” there was no one left in our seats, everyone jumped up and starting cheering and ran up on stage.

The Sponsors

We would like to thank our sponsors Bill and Linda Eckhoff, CH2M Hill, Don Willems Builder, Inc., and Complete Structural. Their continued support was critical in helping us win at nationals. Thank you!!