The mission of the Student Steel Bridge Competition (SSBC) is to supplement the education of civil engineering students with a comprehensive, student-driven project experience from conception and design through fabrication, erection, and testing, culminating in a steel structure that meets client specifications and optimizes performance and economy. The SSBC increases awareness of real world engineering issues such as spatial constraints, material properties, strength, serviceability, fabrication and erection processes, safety, aesthetics, and cost. Success in inter-collegiate competition requires effective teamwork and project management. Future engineers are stimulated to innovate, practice professionalism, and use structural steel efficiently.
About the Team
The Missouri S&T Steel Bridge Team designs, fabricates, and competes with a 1/10th scale model steel bridge. The team is a year-long commitment and students do all of the required work for the competitions in their free time.
The AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition Rules Committee issues the rules for the following year’s competition in early September. These rules are modified yearly and serve as a guideline for the bridge design and aide in competition procedure. Designing the bridge takes up the majority of the fall semester. Meetings are held to discuss the new rules and brainstorm different design options.
After the design is complete, the materials are ordered for the bridge. The materials are usually received towards the end of the fall semester and fabrication begins. Fabrication is done entirely by the team members in their free time. The middle of March is the desired fabrication completion date. This allows time for the team to prepare for the Regional Competition.
Before the Regional Competition in mid April, the team performs a load test to determine what, if any, changes should be made to improve the performance of the bridge. The construction sequence is also practiced to prepare for the Regional Competition.
At the competition, the bridges are judged on the construction time, the aggregate deflection, and the weight of the bridge. The bridge is loaded with a dead load and a lateral load to test the bridges mechanical performance. To advance to the National Competition the team must place within the top two at the Regional Competition.
The Missouri S&T Steel Bridge Team is always looking for new members with fresh ideas. The team currently consists of both undergraduate and graduate members from multiple departments on campus.
Prior knowledge such as structures or steel design is not necessary to join the team. In fact, being part of the team is an aide to learning more about these subjects in a practical hands-on way. Joining the Steel Bridge Team can also add something special to you resume.
This team is also a wonderful social organization. We have many socials throughout the year which allow students the opportunity to create long lasting friendships.