The U of L Steel Bridge Team completed its best year in June! The team swept the Ohio Valley Student Conference, placing 1st overall for the first time in school history. Additionally, U of L placed first in four out of six categories. These successes qualified the team for the national competition, for the second consecutive year.
At the National Student Steel Bridge Competition, the U of L team faced prestigious schools such as UC Berkeley and MIT head on. This being the second year that the team made it to nationals, the students knew to expect some heavy competition. They worked on improving the qualities that they last year saw in winning bridges: lightness, stiffness, and innovative (and minimal) member connections.
Comparing the 2013 bridge with the 2012 bridge, the U of L team indeed made many improvements. The 2013 bridge was 61% lighter and had a 64% reduction in the number of bolts. These numbers brought confidence to the team, and with good reason: U of L placed 32nd out of 49 international teams. This is a 12 place improvement over last year’s national results.
The 2014 rules were recently released, and the 2014 team is currently in the process of recruiting. The U of L Steel Bridge team plans to come back strong this year, and complete the bridge design by the end of December.