April 23, 2021, KLAMATH FALLS, OR – As part of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), students from Oregon Tech’s Civil Engineering program participated in the Compete from Campus and Supplemental Competition options in the 2021 American Institute of Steel Construction Student Steel Bridge Competition. Student engineers from 32 schools have qualified to move on to the National Finals.

The competition challenged students to design, fabricate, and construct a structurally efficient 20-foot long steel bridge to safely support 2,500 pounds. The competition gives students applied experience, an opportunity to combine skills and creativity, as well as training in teamwork, communication and project management skills. It challenges students’ knowledge, creativity and stamina, while displaying the versatility and durability of their projects.

The team’s Supplemental Competition report, describing their design, fabrication, and construction processes earned first place in all categories, taking first place in a field of four schools including University of Washington, Oregon State University, and The University of British Columbia.

The Compete from Campus competition included design, fabrication, and timed construction of a physical bridge. They took second place overall, earning them a nationals berth, which means they will build and load the bridge again on campus in the next month with a goal of improving their build time. The team scored third in construction speed and second in the other categories: lightness, construction economy, and structural efficiency.

The team will compete with 32 other teams nationally for the title and with just nine teams in the supplemental competition. Results will be announced June 3.

Grant Banister, a Civil Engineering graduate student and co-captain of the team shared, “After competing at the national finals in 2019, our team was motivated to do even better in the 2020 competition. We focused on designing a bridge that took into consideration all facets of the competition including the finished weight, structural stiffness, constructibility and construction sequencing. Our team takes pride that we do all of the bridge fabrication in our labs at Oregon Tech which includes cutting, machining, and welding. When the 2020 competition was canceled, we were faced with the loss of valuable team members due to their graduating, a change in the rulebook for the 2021 competition, and the challenge of recruiting new team members. Our team overcame these challenges and showed resilience by completing a bridge that we are all proud of.”

2019-2021 Steel Bridge Team members:

  • Natalie Arnot
  • Grant Banister (co-captain)
  • Trevor Brooks
  • Kayla deHoop
  • Cody Faber
  • Karoline Herkamp
  • Alex Holland
  • Michael Hoie
  • Mitch Leach
  • Serena Moha
  • Ian Pargeter (co-captain)
  • Jordan Sheldon
  • Daniel Shenk
  • Anthony Valenzuela
  • Liz Viramontes
  • Evan Worthington

To watch the regional construction and loading, visit the ASCE-AGC Student Chapter Facebook page: www.facebook.com/OregonTechASCEAGCStudentChapter. Interested in supporting the team or asking questions? Contact faculty adviser C.J. Riley at Charles.riley@oit.edu.