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CoE teams shine in competition

BUV team member Sam Clemens helps prepare for competition by welding the vehicle’s front suspension to its frame

Two College of Engineering teams have won high honors in student competitions, earning national attention for their design successes.

Mizzou Engineering’s steel bridge team took third place in the American Society of Civil Engineers regional competition on April 26, winning a spot in this year’s national steel bridge competition. Shortly afterward, the CoE Basic Utility Vehicle (BUV) team repeated last year’s strong showing in a national design competition’s overall performance category.

“We’ve been working to generate support both externally and within the college for our teams, and I think this has paid off in their performances during the last five years,” said CoE Director of Administrative Services Marty Walker, who serves as advisor for several engineering student teams.

Indeed, MU’s steel bridge team turned in its best performance of the last seven years last week, coming in third out of 11 teams behind first–place University of Missouri–Kansas City and second–place Kansas State University. Each team built an 18– to 20–foot bridge, judged on the time and number of people required to assemble it and its weight and strength.

The top three regional teams will compete nationally against about 45 other teams on May 25–26 at the Northridge campus of California State University.

Mizzou’s BUV team also performed well during this year’s Institute for Affordable Transportation’s BUV Design Competition, held April 28 in Indianapolis, Ind. The competition aims to generate low–cost vehicle designs for impoverished areas throughout the world.

The MU team took second place in the “judge’s drive” portion of the competition—a heavily weighted subjective test of general drivability and design that the team won last year. While gearing problems caused the team to finish sixth out of 10 teams, Mizzou’s vehicle was otherwise a top contender, said Will Austin, the Institute for Affordable Transportation’s founder and director.

“I consider it a success because we built the car, and we obviously learned from what didn’t work,” said Dane Schad, a mechanical and aerospace engineering senior on both this and last year’s team.