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Steel bridge team takes first, heads to national competition

Submitted by Leroy Hulsey
Phone: (907) 474-7816


The steel bridge and its winning team.
A team of University of Alaska Fairbanks civil engineering students are heading to Orlando, Fla., May 27-28, 2005. They placed first in the Northwestern Regional Steel Bridge Competition in April hosted by Montana Tech in Butte, Mont.

UAF won first place overall out of 16 universities in the Pacific Northwest Region, including the University of British Columbia, University of Washington, Oregon State University and University of Alaska Anchorage, which came in eighth.

Each bridge is evaluated for construction speed, deflection and weight. Aesthetics is evaluated and used as a tiebreaker. UAF received three first-place trophies in each of the categories of overall performance, economy and efficiency, two second-place trophies for stiffness and lightness and a third-place for construction speed.

The construction team for UAF included Garrett Thatcher, Brian Johnson, Brian Sweeney and Adam Caswell. Accompanying support members for research and design include Liz Binnell, Alicia Braham, Curtis Nordin, Wilhelm Muench, Pauline Fusco, Roy Craft, Ben Townsend and Josh Chaney. Other student support included Yevette Lancaster, Martin Woodrow, Lindsey Dewhurst, Robert Casey and Matt Shawcroft.

Civil and environmental engineering Professor Leroy Hulsey has been advising the steel bridge team at UAF for the past decade. "I had a good feeling about our design and the design team going in to the regional competition," said Hulsey. "I think we're poised to do well at nationals."

The top three schools are invited to compete at the national competition at the University of Central Florida in Orlando on May 27-28, 2005. The UAF team has competed at the national level a number of times. Their impressive success rate includes first place in 1993, fourth in 1995, tying for first in 1996 and placing sixth in 2003. The competition is sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction and co-sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

CONTACT: Leroy Hulsey, team advisor at (907) 460-0552 or e-mail ffjlh@uaf.edu for more information or visit http://www.nssbc2005.org/links.htm for more information.