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Steel bridge team takes first at regionals

Submitted by Marmian Grimes
Phone: 907-474-7902

04/28/08

Photo caption below.
Photo courtesy of Leroy Hulsey
Members of the UAF steel bridge team pose with their winning bridge at the 2008 regional student steel bridge competition in Portland, Ore. Pictured, top row, from left, is Larry Mosley, Jonathan Hutchison, team advisor Leroy Hulsey, Nick Belmont and Ricky Pitts; and front row, from left, Jacob Horazdovsky and Elliot Wilson.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks steel bridge team took top honors last week at the 2008 ASCE/AISC regional Student Steel Bridge competition at the American Society of Civil Engineers Pacific Northwest Conference at Portland State University.

The six-member team was among 16 teams from universities across the Pacific Northwest competing in the annual contest, which requires students to design and build a 20-foot steel bridge capable of supporting 2,500 pounds. They must strictly adhere to a set of complicated rules in the bridge's design and assembly. The teams are then judged on how quickly they can assemble their bridge, as well as the aesthetics of the structure and its construction economy, lightness, stiffness and structural efficiency.

UAF team members began design on the bridge at the beginning of the spring semester, according to advisor and engineering professor Leroy Hulsey. They did the bulk of construction over spring break. The steel bridge team is a class, Hulsey said, though most team members put in many hours beyond what is required for a three-credit class.

"Some of these young men were working 40 to 50 hours a week on this one class," he said. "It's not a trivial task."

The UAF team took first place overall in the competition, as well as first place in lightness and economy, second place in aesthetics and efficiency, third place in stiffness and fifth place in construction speed. The team will compete in the national steel bridge contest in Gainesville, Fla. in late May.

CONTACT: Leroy Hulsey, professor of civil engineering, at 907-474-7816 or via e-mail at ffjlh@uaf.edu. Marmian Grimes, UAF public information officer, at 907-474-7902 or via e-mail at marmian.grimes@uaf.edu.