Competition teams place in contests; Steel Bridge Team advances to nationals

April 30, 2021

Mizzou Engineering’s Steel Bridge Team and Concrete Canoe Team both competed and won select categories in their recent regional competitions, with both teams finishing third overall, respectively.

“We’re proud of our student teams competing at such a high level, despite all the challenges they faced this past year,” Praveen Edara, chair of civil and environmental engineering. “We’re looking forward to the Steel Bridge Team’s effort for nationals later this year, and then our students competing next academic year.”

Steel Bridge Team results

Members of the 2021 Steel Bridge team

Members of the 2021 Steel Bridge Team. From left to right: Kenyon Shutt, Edgar Pithua, Corey Valleroy, Olivia Bommelje, Madeline Hartranft and Blake Peters.

The Steel Bridge Team took first place in economic scoring in the virtual Heartland Region of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Steel Bridge Competition. According to the team president Corey Valleroy, this means the build team was the fastest in the region in assembling their bridge. Eight teams from five states competed for regional honors and to move on to the national competition.

“I am very proud of the entire team for their work on the bridge throughout the year,” Valleroy said. “It was a big-time commitment for everyone especially as we got near the end and it’s great to see the work pay off.”

Although the Steel Bridge Team finished third overall, they are advancing for winning the national 2021 Student Steel Bridge Competition Team Engagement Award. The team won this award for fostering meaningful equity, diversity and inclusion amongst its team members.

From their submitted winning essay: “From day one, the difference in backgrounds helped each member to develop unique solutions to engineering problems. Throughout the whole year, this helped the team design and build its strongest, fastest, and lightest bridge in years.”

As for the national competition, Valleroy likes the team’s chances. “We lost a lot of points (in the regional competition) on penalties that can be fixed,” he said. “All these penalties are being fixed right now and I believe without them we have a chance to pass ahead of other regional teams and exceed expectations in nationals.”

The national awards will be presented June 3 and will be virtual as well. The Mizzou team will compete against 25 other teams for the championship. The team needs to submit their entry by May 17.

Concrete Canoe Team results

Mizzou’s Concrete Canoe Team finished first in the technical report category of the regional contest, while placing third overall. The team participated in the virtual Midwest Region event as part of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Concrete Canoe Competition.

Although it was not the result hoped for, club president Blake Peters is proud of the effort and happy that the team built a canoe this past year, even if it didn’t have a chance to be in an actual race.

“We thought it was important to do so for fun, and also to help us for next year to get the kinks out of our design,” he said. “We wanted to build a relationship beyond classes, especially for new members who wanted social interactions.”