UTSA students win second place in civil engineering competition

Steel Bridge
Steel Bridge

Top photo: Students Jerry He and Randy Rodriguez work on a deck assembly.
Bottom photo: During the loading portion of the competition, 2,500 pounds are placed on the bridge span and the change in deflection (vertical bending) is measured.

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(Feb. 3, 2010)--UTSA steel bridge team placed second overall at the Texas-Mexico regional qualifier of the 2010 National Student Steel Bridge Competition at the UTSA Main Campus. The win allows UTSA to compete at the national level May 28-29 at Purdue University.

UTSA earned first place in three of the regional competition's six individual categories -- aesthetics, construction speed and construction economy -- trumping teams from UT Austin and Texas A&M.

The National Student Steel Bridge Competition tests each team's ability to design, fabricate and construct a 1:10 scale bridge while emphasizing economy and maximizing bridge strength. Judges score the teams on their bridge's construction speed, weight, deflection, economy, structural efficiency and overall presentation. The recent Texas/Mexico regional competition was one of 18 competitions around the country that determine which teams will proceed to the national competition in May.

UTSA's 2009-2010 steel bridge team includes students Bradley Banks (captain), Jorge Gonzalez (student manager), Adam Berry, Ryan Castro, Darren Cooper, Nneoma Duru-Onweni, Karl Eisenacher, Kevin Ethridge, Fernando Garcia-Ortiz, Phillip Gutierrez, Jerry He, Trang Nguyen, Randy Rodriguez, Gerardo Romero, David Russell, Jason Shroyer and Nick Taylor. Manuel Diaz, UTSA associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is the team's faculty adviser. Alumnus Patricio Santamaria is the team's volunteer mentor.

The annual steel bridge competition is sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) in conjunction with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and is open to Texas- and Mexico-based members of ASCE student chapters. The 2009-2010 competition marks UTSA's 21st year of participation, which attracts more than 200 colleges and universities from across North America.

>> For more information about the ASCE Student Steel Bridge Competition and to inquire about participating, contact Manuel Diaz at 210-458-4953.

>> Learn more about UTSA undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering at the UTSA College of Engineering Web site.