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Steel bridge team advances to national competition

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

LAWRENCE — It’s on to nationals for the steel bridge team from the University of Kansas School of Engineering. 

KU claimed second place in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Mid-Continent Regional Conference steel bridge competition, hosted by KU from April 23-25. The top two teams from the regional advanced to nationals, which are set for May 22-23 in Kansas City, Missouri.

“It is an incredible feeling,” said Jacob Cocke, steel bridge team captain and a senior in architectural engineering. “We put in over 3,000 hours as a team, and it’s nice that all of our hard work isn't finished yet – that we get the chance to go toe-to-toe with other top engineering schools across the nation that continually excel in this competition.”

Among 14 teams at the regional competition, KU finished in the top three in all seven separate competition categories, including first overall in display and lightness, and second in efficiency and economy. The team will now shift its focus to making improvements for the national competition.

“We are already analyzing our bridge to see if we can increase the performance to receive smaller deflections during the next load testing,” Cocke said. “We will also explore some different construction techniques to see if we can reduce our construction time and be more competitive across all scoring aspects.”

KU will compete at the national competition against top finishing teams from other regionals around the country. A field of about 50 teams is expected in Kansas City for nationals. 

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