Monday, April 10, 2017

UNO Student Engineers Set to Compete in National Steel Bridge Competition

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A team from the University of New Orleans American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapter placed second in a competition to design and build a bridge with steel structural elements at the 2017 ASCE Deep South Regional Conference at the University of Memphis March 30 - April 1. The team will go on to compete in the national steel bridge competition in May at Oregon State University, and will be the only students there representing a Louisiana university.

A total of 25 UNO students competed against other student chapters from Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee in a variety of engineering contests in Memphis. UNO teams also placed fourth in the competition to construct a functional canoe out of concrete and fifth in the competition to design and build a small water filtration system.

“This intercollegiate competition challenges civil engineering students and supplements their education with a comprehensive student-driven project experience,” said Gianna Cothren, associate professor of civil engineering at UNO and faculty advisor to the University’s ASCE student chapter.

The steel bridge competition gives students the opportunity to work on a real-world bridge design project from conception and design through fabrication, erection and testing, culminating in a steel structure that meets client specifications and optimizes performance and economy. While placing second overall in the steel bridge competition, UNO achieved first place rankings in two specific contest categories: economy, with their nearest competitor coming in at twice the cost, and construction speed. To prepare for the national competition, Cothren says over the next month and a half the team will work on improving bridge stiffness, reducing weight and practicing efficient construction.

A team of UNO students placed fourth overall in the concrete canoe competition and fifth overall in an environmental engineering competition, in which they built a small water filtration system. The environmental challenge was to filter 20 liters of water containing clay particles within 15 minutes and achieve the least turbidity, which is a measurement of clarity, a key test of water quality.

The UNO student chapter of ASCE will host a fundraising social to help the send the steel bridge team to the national competition. The fundraiser takes place Thursday, April 13 at Brisbi's on the Lakefront starting at 5:30 p.m. Click here for more information on the social.

The American Society of Civil Engineers is the nation’s oldest engineering society. Founded in 1852, ASCE now represents more than 150,000 members of the civil engineering profession in 177 countries. A leading provider of technical and professional conferences and continuing education, ASCE also serves as the world’s largest publisher of civil engineering content and an authoritative source for public safety codes and standards.