Austin Shull, S&T students design steel bridge

April 18, 2014

in Student

MSTROLLA –  (04/18/2014)(readMedia)– A team of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology will test the principles of bridge building by constructing a scale-model steel bridge as part of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Mid-Continent Student Conference. The conference will be held Thursday, April 24, through Saturday, April 26, at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla.

Missouri S&T’s Steel Bridge Design Team will compete with other regional collegiate teams to construct its bridge as fast as possible. The bridges will then be “load tested” to see if they can hold a required amount of weight. This year, the S&T team’s bridge weighs 320 pounds and is comprised of 22 pieces and more than 70 bolts. It is 17 feet long and is a 1:10 scale model bridge.

The team will be judged on the weight and rigidity of its bridge, construction speed and the number of team members building the bridge. Aesthetics are scored if needed as a tie-breaker. Penalties are assessed for infractions like dropping bolts, holding two pieces of the bridge at once and stepping over designated lines.

The following student is part of the team:

Austin Shull, a senior in architectural engineering from La Monte, Mo.

Throughout the spring semester, team members worked long hours in the Student Design and Experiential Learning Center on the Missouri S&T campus, improving the design and fabrication. The team had the bridge beams carved in the Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center at S&T, via water-jet cutting.

Team members hope to have only three students construct the bridge at the competition, but a fourth could be added if difficulties arise during practice builds. Prior to the competition, team members practice several hours a day to reduce the time it takes to construct the bridge.

Dr. Timothy Philpot, associate professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at Missouri S&T, is the Steel Bridge Team faculty advisor.


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