Steel Bridge team shines on national stage

Kate Avery
June 9, 2023

Steel Bridge Team photo collage.
Photos courtesy of Haylie Cortez
Steel Bridge Team photo collage.

San Diego, Ca. – The Student Steel Bridge Competition National Finals held in San Diego concluded with a breathtaking grand finale, leaving participants and spectators mesmerized by the impressive displays of engineering prowess and innovation.

Talented engineering students from universities across the nation came together for this annual event, where they embraced the challenge of designing, fabricating, and constructing scaled steel bridges. Among the brightest minds competing for victory, the UAF College of Engineering and Mines team emerged as an undeniable force, securing 10th place overall out of the 43 participating schools. They also dominated the cost estimation category, highlighting their strong performance.

Months of meticulous planning, designing, and rigorous testing culminated in the creation of a bridge that not only showcased remarkable structural integrity but also boasted impressive economic efficiency. Professor Wilhelm Muench, the faculty advisor for the team, expressed immense pride in his students' outstanding performance. He commended their teamwork and technical expertise, which played a crucial role in their triumph.

Heartfelt congratulations are due to team captain Haylie Cortez for her remarkable leadership. The nationals travel team, consisting of Haylie Cortez, Brandon Hansen, Lucas Gomes, Jenna Hernandez, Heather McKenzie, and Wilhelm Muench, as well as the entire team including Richard Brock, Cynan Hellman, Leo Hicker, Ben Steinhauer, and Zac Stanish, worked hard throughout throughout the year culminating in the team's recognition.

The team's achievements in construction speed, lightness rank, stiffness rank, and efficiency showcased their ability to deliver high-quality results. Securing the first-place position in the cost estimation category highlights skill in balancing different components of construction methodologies within their project.

Awards received:

  • 10th place Overall
  • 1st place in Construction Economy
  • 4th place in Efficiency
  • 5th place in Aesthetics
  • 6th place in Stiffness