April 18, 2012

Steel Bridge Teams Clinches First Place

The LSU American Society of Civil Engineers student chapter competed in the ASCE Deep South Regional Conference March 29-31 at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The Deep South concrete canoe and steel bridge competitions are the region’s ASCE preliminaries to the organization’s national competitions.

The competitions provide students with valuable experience in design and construction and grant them the opportunity to put engineering principles learned in the classroom into practice. Students also learn team and management skills necessary for the professional world. 

“I've been on the bridge team for three years now, and have enjoyed every minute of it. I've learned how to be a true leader over these past few years, and I'm going to miss not having to worry about the bridge after this semester,” said David Ziegler, steel bridge team captain and civil engineering senior. “With a team full of returning members our goal for this year’s competition is nothing less than first and an invitation to nationals. We have maintained a great schedule this year.”

In the steel bridge challenge, students design and construct a steel bridge structure. Teams are judged based on the following criteria: the bridge’s display, construction speed, lightness, stiffness, construction economy (speed multiplied by the number of builders), structural efficiency and an overall performance rating. The steel bridge team clinched first place, securing a trip to the national competition May 25-26 at Clemson University.

The steel bridge team expressed their thanks to the following sponsors: LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Toledo Exploration Company, ILSI Engineering, Walter K. Rainbolt Jr., Sigma Consulting Group, INC., Curtis Engineering Associates LTD., M&E Consulting, Forte and Tablada, Sigma Engineers and Construction, CSRS INC., Burk-Kleinpeter, Inc. and Julien Engineering & Consulting, Inc. Also, special thanks to David Robertson and Kirby Hebert.

Co-captains Lesley Kates, community service chair for the ASCE LSU Student Chapter, and Kristina Galindo led the effort this year in the concrete canoe competition.

The team began working on this project during the fall semester, focusing on fundraising and testing the mix design for the canoe. This year, the team tried about five different mixes before finding one that they thought was the best in workability (has to be easy to put onto the mold), strength (found by doing the compression test, mix this year is about 1000 psi), and weight (having to carry and row it).

In the concrete canoe competition, scores are based on the canoes’ aesthetics and ability to float; co-ed, male and female sprint and endurance races; and a paper and oral presentation about the team’s design. Although the concrete canoe team did not place overall, they placed third in the design paper and second in the women's endurance race. The canoe team consisted of Joe Ory, Clay Spencer, Javier Sanhez, Kristina Galindo, Samantha Huffman and Lesley Cates.

The canoe team expressed their thanks to the following sponsors: Forte & Tablada, Ardaman & Associates, Inc., CSRS, Gulf Engineering & Consultants (GEC), Terracon, Duplantis Design Group, PC (DDG), ETEC, Fugro, Acadian Engineers Inc., Resource Consulting and Engensus Engineering and Consulting.

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For more information, contact Cassie Arceneaux, College of Engineering, carcen6@lsu.edu or (225) 578-0092.



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