Steel bridge team places first in state, third in region

steel bridge team-2019
2019 steel bridge team left to right, Dinesh Panta, Valerie Do, Dakota Chauncey, Professor Fred Rutz, Kyle O’Hearn, Hussain Almosawi, Dustin Doll

On April 5, the CU Denver steel bridge team competed at the regional AISC Steel Bridge Competition, which took place at CU Boulder.

The team, comprised of six civil engineering students – Hussain Almosawi, Dakota Chauncey, Valerie Do, Dustin Doll, Kyle O’Hearn and Dinesh Panta – placed first in the state and third in the Rocky Mountain region. 

“We did a wonderful job and worked marvelously as a team.  I could not be more proud of all my teammates and the things we accomplished,” said Chauncey, who served as the team captain. 

steel bridge 2The team set a personal best record build time of 11 minutes and 56 seconds, and ranked top three in many categories including stiffness (least deflection), economy (one of the faster build times after penalties) and total weight (of the bridge).

The AISC Steel Bridge Competition challenges civil engineering students through an intercollegiate competition where they are tasked to complete with a comprehensive, student-driven project from conception and design through fabrication, erection, and testing. The end result is a steel structure that meets client specifications and optimizes performance and economy.

This year’s competition challenged student teams to design a limited access, short-span bridge to cross a river near recent and past lava flows. The bridges are tested for stability, strength and serviceability, and must be able to support bicycles, pedestrians, park vehicles and emergency vehicles while prohibiting private motor vehicles. Teams were also required to construct the bridges under simulated field conditions.

“Our CU Denver engineers ranked first among all six Colorado schools and third overall,” said assistant professor Fred Rutz, the team’s faculty advisor. “While most other schools utilized the more traditional lattice truss, ours was an innovative steel arch. We benefitted from trial load tests conducted in our Structures Lab.”

Other state schools in attendance included University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, Air Force Academy, and Metropolitan State University of Denver. The event also included South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Utah State University, Brigham Young University and New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

 

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