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ASCE student chapter travels to San Diego to participate in 2023 Student Steel Bridge Competition National Finals

The NC State student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) traveled to University of California, San Diego, in La Jolla, California, to compete in the 2023 Student Steel Bridge Competition National Finals after placing first in the 2023 ASCE Carolinas Student Symposium competition in April.

As part of the competition, teams were challenged to construct a prefabricated steel bridge in under 45 minutes with construction constraints such as a river that cannot be crossed, no members or tools touching the floor, and only six builders. Bridges were also load-tested, weighed, and judged on aesthetics. 

The team included Alec Spano, Anthony Rurka, Eric Skinner, Hunter Bowman, Jada Williams, Jordan Key, Ceci Sanchez, Nick Angel, Alli Wray, and Adam McLaine. Spano, Rurka, Skinner, Key, Sanchez, and Angel served as the builders.

Though more than 150 schools across the country participated in regional Steel Bridge Competitions, only 44 were invited to compete in the National Finals. 

“It has been an amazing journey to watch our team grow not only in participation but in understanding,” said Bowman, who served as the team’s graduate advisor. “This year has been incredibly rewarding in all aspects, from design, to regionals, and finally to nationals. Everyone on the team has contributed to an environment with exceptional camaraderie, and after seeing all the different designs and approaches other teams took with their bridges, I cannot wait to see what new innovations and ideas we bring to the table for next year.”

Faith Gortman, who joined ASCE this past school year as a freshman, said that being a member of the group and traveling to the National Finals has been a great experience to connect with people who share similar interests.

“This club has exposed me to various experiences that CCEE would do within their particular field,” Gortman said. “One of the things I enjoyed doing most in ASCE was building a steel bridge that required hands-on experience in assembling it. I can’t wait to see what ASCE has in store for the future.”