The UConn Steel Bridge Team, led by Chief Engineer Michael Culmo, recently participated in the National Finals of the Student Steel Bridge Competition at UC San Diego. Despite facing challenges along the way, the team showcased their exceptional skills and achieved a commendable ranking among the 186 competing teams.
The UConn team secured respectable rankings while competing at the regional competition in various categories. These included: construction speed (7th), lightness (5th), stiffness (38th). Their overall ranking was sixteenth place. It was acknowledged that their stiffness score could have been better, attributing the less-than-desired result to an unfortunate die roll during the competition. However, the team's focus on construction speed paid off, meeting their primary design objective.
Towards the end of May, the UConn Steel Bridge Team embarked on a journey to the National Finals, where they joined approximately 44 teams from regional competitions in a highly competitive event.Despite the unlucky die roll for the loading combination, the UConn team performed admirably in the competition. They improved their build time compared to the regional competition, completing the construction in 12 minutes with four builders.
Overall, the team secured an impressive seventeenth position nationwide, outperforming the majority of the 186 competing teams. The team now boasts an impressive track record, qualifying for nationals 14 out of 21 years and maintaining a perfect record of six consecutive qualifications.
Culmo expressed his gratitude to everyone who contributed to the team's success, including the dedicated team members; the senior design team involved in analysis, design, and fabrication; UConn alumni Tom Sawtelle for assisting with fabrication; and Professor Alexandra Hain for her advisory role. He also extends his thanks to UConn's Undergraduate Student Government for funding materials and tools, UConn facilities for providing workspace, and the UConn Civil Engineering Department and Dean's office for supporting the team's travel expenses.
We would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the UConn Steel Team for their remarkable achievements and continued success.