WHO WE ARE
Fundamentally, the Steel Bridge Team is just what it sounds like: a team of hard-working engineering students building a steel bridge. Digging a little deeper, one can see that our team grows leaders, teaches valuable technical and soft skills, and prepares members to tackle challenges in the professional world. From employers to professors, almost everyone acknowledges that the classroom doesn’t give enough preparation for real work. The team helps prepare us! Being part of the Steel Bridge is great practice for developing skills that will be used in our daily lives after graduation. Aspects of the team include communication, planning, leadership, critical problem solving, estimating, and analysis - these all are used at our internships and jobs. Last summer, 80% of our senior team members had an internship!
OUR TEAM'S PROGRESS
At the regional competition at Oregon Tech on April 5-7, 2018, our team flexed the muscles we had been training the last three years. Just two years ago, the 2016 bridge was disqualified because it broke under loading. Even if it hadn't broken, it was still too heavy and too slowly assembled to earn a competitive score. Last year, the 2017 bridge passed the load testing and even earned 3rd place in least amount of deflection! This year, building on the foundation set by the 2017 team, we focused on optimizing the design to minimize deflection, weight, and assembly time. Our efforts paid off and we earned 2nd place overall; placing in the top three teams for each category: efficiency, economy, deflection, weight, and construction speed. Now, we want to show off our improvements and 'steel the show' at the national level.
Team members work through the year designing, learning fabrication techniques, and assembling the bridge. Our design team has grown from one to four to seven over the past three years. Dividing up the work and bouncing ideas off one another was a huge factor to our success! The design team worked continually for autumn and winter quarter, from brainstorming the overall design to working out the nitty-gritty details. Meanwhile, our team gained new members when school started, and we became shop certified, took welding classes, and practiced milling techniques. At the same time, we fundraised for the year, reaching out to potential professional sponsors around the region. When the design was finished, construction stepped into the spotlight. For three weeks, our team cut, welded, and assembled the steel pieces. The bridge became a reality! Then, it was handed off to the build team. The build team practiced for dozens of hours, creating an efficient plan for staging, sequencing, and assembly techniques. At competition, the build team’s efforts were tremendous, taking first place in the construction speed category!
Nationals was an unexpected, though pleasantly surprising, expense to plan for this year. We need to raise about $15,000 total to pay for the competition registration, flights, hotels, and rental cars for our team over Memorial Day weekend. We are so grateful for professional donations from Shaq Thompson, UW Alum and now linebacker for the Carolina Panthers, Nucor Steel, Atkinson Construction, The Rush Companies, Puget Sound Steel, Shimmick Construction, Notevault, and AISC, which have lowered the crowd-funding goal to $5,000.
Flights: $815/member * 14 members= $11,410
Hotels: $150/room/night * 3 rooms * 2 nights = $900
Rental Vehicles: estimated at $500
Student registration: $100/member * 14 members = $1400
Team uniforms: $20/shirt * 14 members = $280
Bridge packing materials: estimated at $200
Unexpected costs fund: $300
WATCH OUR PROGRESS
As the support comes in, we will show progress updates with a time lapse of the bridge being built - every $150 dollars will “assemble” one piece of the bridge. Please help us “build” the bridge before we depart for Nationals!
View the video of assembly from when we reached 77% on Thursday 5/10.
Our team has sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the UW's College of Engineering civil, electrical, and mechanical departments. Some members have been on the team for three years, others just joined last quarter. Please read through our profiles to meet us!