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Steel Bridge 2016

April 29, 2016 — Leave a comment

Hello there!

I am really excited to share with you guys something I have gotten the chance to be a part of this year! As a Civil Engineering major, I wanted to become more involved in an extracurricular that pertained to what I was learning in class. As a school with a hands-on approach, I wanted to take what I learned in the Wentworth classrooms and apply it elsewhere. Joining Wentworth’s student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) was just the way to do that!

Through ASCE, I have met many upperclassmen who have given me invaluable guidance and advice; they have already been through what I am going through, so who else would know better! While attending the weekly body meetings was fun and a great start in getting to know people, I wanted to become even more involved so I joined the Steel Bridge Team. ASCE hosts two competitions a year. One is the Concrete Canoe Competition where students create a concrete mix, make a concrete canoe, and race their canoes on competition day in various events against different schools. The Steel Bridge Competition is similar. The first semester, the bridge is designed and drafted using various computer programs. Then second semester, it is manufactured and welded together, and the construction of it is practiced by a build team. The bridge is judged on various aspects including aesthetics, how much lateral load it can deflect, and how fast the build time is. Every year a new set of rules comes out in order to make this a challenging project. This year I helped in reviewing CAD shop drawings, creating a part list on Microsoft Excel, and being a part of the build team on competition day.

My favorite part was hands down being a part of the build team. Towards the ends of the semester we would have practices a few nights a week constructing the bridge as fast as we could. We came up with strategies that efficiently used each member of the team so that we could cut our time down. While we were all tired after long days of class and co-op, we always powered through. These practices were honestly my favorite part of the day. I’d come home to my suite mates and tell them about a new record build time or something funny one of the guys said. Between cracking jokes and getting out hands dirty, those practices made sophomore year as great as it was.

My incredible team! (L to R: Gavin, Pat, Pabel, Matt, me, and Lucky!)

My incredible team! (L to R: Gavin, Pat, Pabel, Matt, me, and Lucky!)

This year’s competition was co-hosted by Wentworth and Northeastern. The actual Steel Bridge Competition took place in Matthews Arena on Northeastern’s campus. We woke up bright and early for our 6am call where we were to load our bridge into the arena. Although we didn’t win this year, I have gained so much love and respect for my team and the Civil Engineering world. Students from all of the country passionately spend their free time on a yearlong project—it is quite something to witness. They work hard and tirelessly in order to create something extraordinary. Although I am sad to see my favorite seniors move on to the next chapter of their lives, I am sure I’ll see them again soon. Until then, I cannot wait to begin working on next year’s bridge as co-captain of the team! Hopefully some of your readers will join our team for another great year!

Here are some pictures!

Here is our bridge! Yellow, black, and red to represent the best school ever!

Here is our bridge! Yellow, black, and red to represent the best school ever!

The Matthews Arena where the competition took place!

The Matthews Arena where the competition took place!

Thanks for reading!