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Steel Bridge Team Ready for March Competition

The UConn Steel Bridge team, which will both host and compete in the 2007 Northeast Regional Steel Bridge Competition in Storrs, has completed fabrication and successfully tested its model for the March 17, 2007 match.  The UConn team, comprising members of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapter, captured top honors in the 2006 regional competition, besting nine other New England engineering schools to claim the championship.  The 2006 team also went on to compete in the national competition in Salt Lake City.

Returning members of the ’06 championship team include Benjamin Cote (Steel Bridge Club and ASCE chapter president), Alison Galasso, Ethan Cote, Kelly McCartney, Chris Wall (Club Vice President), Dan Veronesi, Brian Kinsley, Mathew Henion and Nick Keenan. Other members of the 2007 include Lesley Beers, Adam Scianna, Jenna Nichols, Nick Hanford, James Moriarty, Eric Boucher, Rob Smith, Steve Marien and Benjamin Garey. The team is advised by alumnus Michael Culmo (B.S. Civil Engineering, M.S. Structural Engineering ’83, ’86), P.E., Vice President of Transportation and Structures for CME Associates of East Hartford, Norwich and Woodstock, CT.

Teams competing in the regional and national competitions must design, fabricate and assemble a 20-foot bridge to very strict specifications.  It must also be capable of carrying a 2,500 pound load without deflecting more than 2 inches.  Entries are judged for assembly time, aesthetics, deflection under loading, and weight.  The top teams from the region move on to the national competition.

Mr. Culmo reports the team has “Worked very hard to produce a very competitive bridge this year.  The resulting design will weigh less than last year’s winning entry, and be constructed in a fraction of the time.  The team strove for a simple design to decrease construction time.” says Mr. Culmo, who added “We also included machined tension connections that are very strong and easy to construct.  The students working on the project have been very dedicated to the project and have worked hundreds of hours on the design and fabrication of the bridge, as well as organizing the upcoming event.”

The regional Steel Bridge competition will be held on campus at the Ratcliffe Hicks Arena.  The event is co-sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Steel Construction as well as several local sponsors.  Information about the competition can be found at:  http://www.engr.uconn.edu/~ceeasce/sb.htm.