The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) steel bridge competition is an annual student event in which university student chapters of ASCE from around the United States can participate. For the competition students in the field of structural engineering are tasked with the design, fabrication, and construction of a steel bridge while following the rules and regulations set forth. A panel of judges then scores each team’s bridge on the following six categories:
- Display – Appearance of bridge, identification of the school on the bridge, and a poster that explains the thought process including sponsors, advisors, and technicians.
- Construction Speed – The team that constructs the bridge with the quickest time 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.
- Lightness – The team with the lightest bridge 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 event is primarily sponsored by both ASCE and AISC and consists of both regional and national competitions. University chapters successful in the regional competitions can advance to the national competition. Each year this competition is hosted by a different university. This year in 2016 the national competition will be held at Brigham Young University May 27-28. Trine University of Angola, Indiana has advanced to the national competition this year and will travel to compete in hopes of taking the national title.
Currently Lawson-Fisher Associates employs five engineers from Trine University (formerly Tri-State) who will undoubtedly be supporting their alma mater.