(Click on photos to enlarge)
The competition weekend has finally come! The Lehigh Steel Bridge Team labored day and night to complete the bridge on time, working until 4am the night before leaving for competition. This year's event was held at Penn State's main campus on April 11-12, with schools including Maryland, Villanova, Lafayette, Bucknell, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and many others in attendance.
The competition weekend started with an exposition on Saturday, with all the bridges on display for the judges to evaluate. Lehigh's bridge stood boldly and tall with a strong arch superstructure, attracting the attention of judges and spectators alike. The remainder of Saturday included a presentation by the Lehigh Steel Bridge member Mike Drury on the Ethics of Engineering, as well as presentations by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
The build and load competition was held on Sunday, as teams hustled to complete their bridges as quickly as possible for maximum points. The Lehigh Steel Bridge build team worked hard and efficiently together, communicating and helping each other assemble the bridge carefully. Although the team exceeded the maximum construction time of 45 minutes, the bridge was nevertheless strong and well crafted as it waited for the load and stress tests.
The first test conducted was the lateral load test. The bridge's deflection was within the limits of the test, which deemed it worthy of conducting the vertical load test. In the vertical load test, the bridge was able to hold an impressive 1750 pounds! This placed Lehigh in the top third of all load tested bridges. The bridge would have been able to hold more weight, had one weld not snapped and caused a bolt to shear. The bridge impressed all the teams in attendance, and the competition provided an invaluable learning experience for all members.
It has been a great year for the Lehigh University Steel Bridge Team. Valuable skills were learned, team members developed stronger bonds, and all the hard work certainly paid off with the results. The team is excited to use this year's progress as a springboard for next year, and hopes to make next year's bridge even better!
We would like to thank all of our sponsors and donors for Their generous support:
Michael Baker Jr. Intl