KU News Release
May 5, 2011
Contact: Cody Howard, School of Engineering, 785-864-2936
Steel bridge team earns trip to national competition
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas steel bridge team has earned a trip to nationals after finishing third at the the 2011 Regional Student Steel Bridge Competition.
The regional competition took place April 28 at Kansas State University in Manhattan. Twelve teams competed.
Team captain Chris Hagan, a sixth-year senior in architectural engineering, said a first-place finish was well within reach — about .07 of an inch, actually. The sticking point was the KU bridge’s performance on its lateral support test, which involves judges placing 75 pounds on the side the structure and pulling it.
“The maximum deflection (allowed) was .5 inches, and we got .57 inches,” Hagan said. “But we can fix that for nationals.”
The national competition is May 21-22 at Texas A&M University in College Station. The KU team plans to attend, even though the competition coincides with Commencement weekend.
“I came to the decision to go to nationals due to the fact that we would have won regionals if we wouldn’t have been penalized,” Hagan said. “I will miss Saturday’s School of Engineering recognition ceremony, and I am the only senior going, but I will be back in time to walk down the Hill on Sunday.”
The competition emphasizes the amount of weight the bridge can support and keeping estimated “real-world” construction costs low, while teams race the clock to assemble their structures. The team constructed its bridge in seven minutes at the regional competition.
The KU bridge is 21 feet long, 3 feet wide, 2 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs around 315 pounds. It has an estimated real-world cost of about $4 million.
For more information about the steel bridge team and a list of team members, go to www.news.ku.edu/2011/april/28/steelbridge.shtml.
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