Category Archives: Steel Bridge

Steel Bridge January 2015 Update

Hello!

This is Dan and Ben, your Steel Bridge captains this year. We are very thankful for the people who have been working hard this past semester to help us design the bridge. Last semester, we primarily focused on coming up with this year’s design and teaching new members how to use the equipment in the lab.

Based on the constraints of this year’s problem, we brainstormed with our team ways to reduce the stresses on the connections, minimize difficult fabrication issues, and speed up construction. We were also able to speak to our ASCE faculty advisor and structural engineering professor, Dr. Brandow, for his advice on the bridge design. We finalized our design last semester and look forward to seeing it come to life this semester.

We just received our steel over winter break, and we can finally begin working on fabrication! We definitely need all the help we can get. The beginning of the semester we will primarily be focusing on fabricating the members and connections in the lab. This will entail cutting and sanding the steel members to size, creating our connections, and welding the pieces together. After that, we will be able to start practicing constructing the bridge in order to build it as fast as possible.

If you’re interested in helping with this year’s bridge, it’s not too late! You can come to our meetings on Friday mornings in the KAP basement to help out, or email us at steelbridge@uscasce.com

Your #SteBri Captains,

Ben and Dan

Bridge assembly competition team.

PSWC 2014 Results

I’ll start off by putting this into perspective and context. Historically, USC ASCE typically places top-three in one or two events at PSWC. Our 18-school conference, combined with perennial powerhouses in the concrete canoe competition, make our conference one of the most competitive of the 15 in the country.

Last year, our only victory, albeit significant, was our first-place environmental win. This year, going into the awards banquet we didn’t expect much, but were proud of our collective effort.

We started out the awards banquet with a 1st place victory in the Scavenger Hunt competition. Despite having a team less than half the size of many other schools, our focus and determination led us to win one of the most fun events, finding cool spots and landmarks around SDSU’s campus and throughout San Diego.

Our 1st-place-winning Scavenger Hunt Team
Our 1st-place-winning Scavenger Hunt Team

 

Steel Bridge Team: 3rd place in Lightness and Construction Speed
Steel Bridge Team: 3rd place in Lightness and Construction Speed

Steel Bridge won 3rd place in construction speed, completing the construction of their bridge in roughly 18 minutes. They also won 3rd in bridge lightness. Our team ended up placing 3rd overall, earning an invitation to the AISC/ASCE National Steel Bridge Competition in Akron, OH!

Steel Bridge Team: 3rd Place Overall
Steel Bridge Team: 3rd Place Overall

Last year, our Concrete Canoe team had their first canoe to successfully survive every race in three years, but placed 14th overall. Despite deductions in the oral presentation and final product categories due to technicalities, the Concrete Canoe team placed 6th overall and won 3rd in design paper!

Concrete Canoe Team: 3rd Place in Design Paper (team photo interrupted by 3rd place overall celebration)
Concrete Canoe Team: 3rd Place in Design Paper (team photo interrupted by 3rd place overall celebration)

Our paddling team also did well, placing 7th overall. Highlights included our women’s slalom team placing sixth, our 4-person co-ed team winning their heat, and our men’s sprint team winning the small final by less than a second to place 6th, after missing the big final qualification by only a second.

Considering where we were just a year ago, and the fact that most of this year’s USC ASCE PSWC team were first-time attendees, all of these results are spectacular. But as we were celebrating our successes, we won an award that we never expected: 3rd place overall for the entire conference!

USC ASCE: PSWC 2014 3rd Place Overall Celebration
USC ASCE: PSWC 2014 3rd Place Overall Celebration

The overall conference rank is determined by summing all of the weighted points earned for each event, including canoe and bridge, the smaller design teams, and the sports tournaments. To win, a school must be well-rounded, participate in every event, and fight to win individual games, even if they don’t win entire sports tournaments. USC ASCE has not placed this high in the overall conference rank since 1994. Our 3rd place finish would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our entire team.

Here’s the event placement breakdown that led to our 3rd-place overall finish:

  • Concrete Canoe – 6th
  • Steel Bridge – 3rd
  • Technical Paper – 5th
  • Geotechnical / Geowall  – Participated
  • Environmental – 5th
  • Surveying – 7th
  • Impromptu & Mystery – Participated
  • Family Feud Quiz – T5th
  • Basketball – T5th
  • Volleyball – Participated
  • Ultimate Frisbee – T5th
  • Tug of War – Participated
  • Kan Jam (2 teams) – T5th, Participated
  • Scavenger Hunt – 1st
  • Concrete Bowling – Participated

PSWC 2014 Complete Results

PSWC 2014 Event Point Distribution

USC ASCE: PSWC 2014 3rd Place Overall Celebration
USC ASCE: PSWC 2014 3rd Place Overall Celebration

This year, we proved that just because we have a smaller department, fewer resources, and less manpower than other schools doesn’t mean that we can’t be successful. Let’s celebrate our victories, analyze our weaknesses, and come back next year ready to take 1st!

PSWC 2014 Day 3: Awards Banquet

At the PSWC Awards Banquet, all of the conference attendees gather for a nice dinner and to celebrate their victories at PSWC. We went in expecting to place top-three in maybe one of the smaller events. But we came out with our best year overall since 1994, placing 3rd overall thanks to the hard work of our entire team. Check out the details of our results here.

PSWC 2014 Day 3: Steel Bridge

The Steel Bridge competition is one of the most exciting to watch, as schools race to assemble their bridge as quickly as possible, before applying loads and testing the deflections. There are countless deductions and possible disqualifications that the teams must avoid, and it isn’t uncommon for over one-third of the teams to be disqualified. Overall, our steel bridge team had a great competition this year, despite failing the lateral load test.

PSWC 2014 Day 1: Canoe & Bridge Aesthetics

PSWC 2014 Started off with a beautiful day of Concrete Canoes and Steel Bridges on display!

Final PSWC 2014 Preparations

All of our design teams are busy with last-minute preparations for PSWC 2014. We’re off to San Diego tonight, excited to compete!

Steel Bridge Update

Our Steel Bridge team is working hard to finish building their top-secret design by March 1st. This will allow plenty of time to tweak and finish the bridge, as well as practicing assembly for the competition. We’re excited for PSWC 2014 and will be selecting our competition team in the next few weeks.

We can always use more help; please email steelbridge@uscasce.com to join our mailing list!