MIT Steel Bridge Team takes second place at national competition
August 31, 2012
By Denise Brehm
Civil & Environmental Engineering
The MIT Steel Bridge Team placed second at the 2012 National Steel Bridge Competition, out-engineering 45 other teams that had been winnowed from 200 in regional contests. The University of California, Berkeley, took first place at the event, which was held Memorial Day weekend at Clemson University.
The annual contest requires student teams to design an approximately 20-foot scale model of a bridge for a hypothetical site that meets specifications outlined in a request for proposals. Teams must fabricate steel pieces to build the bridge and during the competition, be able to assemble it very quickly. The rules are rigid, reflecting the safety needs and landscape characteristics of an actual site. Bridges must be able to withstand a 2,500-pound load without sagging; a deflection of more than one centimeter, for instance, might be considered too large.