ASCE student chapter wins steel bridge competition at regional conference, moves on to nationals

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Members of the ASCE steel bridge team put together their design at the Carolinas Regional Conference for student chapters April 1. The team, led by Colin Martin and Mihai Mavrodin, won first place and advance to national competition in May. (Photo: Thomas S. Teichmann)
Members of the ASCE steel bridge team put together their design at the Carolinas Regional Conference for student chapters April 1. The team, led by Colin Martin and Mihai Mavrodin, won first place and advance to national competition in May. (Photo: Thomas S. Teichmann)
 

The Georgia Tech chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers is sending its steel bridge team to the national competition in May.

The team advanced after winning the steel bridge competition at the Carolinas Regional Conference March 31 – April 2. And that’s just one highlight from a weekend conference where chapter members won three competitions, and the chapter earned a sportsmanship award and third place overall.

“Thanks to the hard work of the team and the countless hours and dedication they put into it, Georgia Tech's ASCE couldn't be prouder,” said Aubrey Awe, the chapter’s conference chair, who also credited the bridge team’s co-captains, Mihai Mavrodin and Colin Martin, for leading the winning effort. “I'm sure they'll be rock stars at nationals.”

“After not finishing fabrication on our steel bridge for the past three years, making sure my bridge captains had everything they needed to ensure we had something to show for all their hard work was one of my biggest priorities,” Awe said. “We've always had strong designs. I never doubted we would do well as long as we got to compete.

Georgia Tech ASCE's concrete canoe team load their creating into a lake to test its buoyancy at the Carolinas Regional Conference March 31. Weather conditions canceled the traditional (and usually entertaining) canoe races at the conferece. (Photo: Thomas S. Teichmann)
Georgia Tech ASCE's concrete canoe team members load their creation into a lake to test its buoyancy at the Carolinas Regional Conference March 31. Weather conditions canceled the traditional (and usually entertaining) canoe races at the conferece. (Photo: Thomas S. Teichmann)

In the competition, the students must design and fabricate a steel bridge that meets detailed specifications. Then they have to put it together as quickly as possible at the conference, where it’s judged on everything from weight to efficiency. The idea is to teach students what it’s like to work on a project where the constraints of space, money and materials are real.

The chapter also won first place in the transportation competition, and member Maya Goldman won the Daniel W. Mead paper competition for her essay on engineering ethics.

Overall, the Tech chapter placed third at the annual conference after also earning second in the hydraulics and T-shirt design contests. And the chapter took home the 2017 Good Sportsmanship Award, a testament to their quality character as well as intellect, chapter adviser David Scott said.

“Led by Conference Chair Aubrey Awe and Chapter President Tyler Bishop, our group of 35 students had a tremendous time and represented [the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering] and the Institute very well, as always,” Scott said.

He also gave credit to the School’s facilities team, including Blake Baklini and Jeremy Mitchell, who helped students build the steel bridge and concrete canoe for the conference, and to Facilities Manager Andy Udell, “who worked tirelessly both during preparation in Atlanta as well as at the conference to help our Steel Bridge Team bring home the first-place trophy.”

The national steel bridge competition will be May 26 and 27 at Oregon State University.

The Georgia Tech ASCE student chapter at the banquet for the 2017 Carolinas Regional Conference April 2. The chapter placed third overall at the annual event and won the steel bridge, transportation, and Mead paper competitions. (Courtesy: Georgia Tech ASCE)
The Georgia Tech ASCE student chapter at the banquet for the 2017 Carolinas Regional Conference April 2. The chapter placed third overall at the annual event and won the steel bridge, transportation, and Mead paper competitions. (Courtesy: Georgia Tech ASCE)