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Release: Immediate

UI engineering students to compete in national bridge-building contest

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa College of Engineering student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will compete in the 1997 National ACSE bridge building contest in May in Pomona, Calif. The UI chapter recently finished second in the Steel Bridge Competition at the ASCE Upper Midwest Regional Conference Feb. 20-22 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

The UI ASCE bridge building team includes: Andrew Engler, of Evergreen, Colo.; Jason Imhof, Dubuque; Brad Ketels, Waterloo; Kenley Kyle, Carrollton, Texas; Tom Nagle, Waterloo; Dave Schechinger, Harlan; and Kyle Zellers, Springfield, Ill. Faculty advisors Professor Forrest Holly, Professor Jasbir Arora, and Assistant Professor Colby Swan, all in the department of civil and environmental engineering, assisted the students with their design. According to Holly, the contest blends hands-on experience with classroom knowledge.

The UI team competes with a 20-foot-long steel bridge of their own design and construction weighing about 80 pounds and able to support a weight of 2,500 pounds. Contest rules call for the student teams to construct their scale-model bridges according to length and vertical loading specifications. Additional criteria include stiffness, lightness, efficiency, economy, aesthetics and construction speed. At the Minnesota competition, the UI team placed first in lightness and second in efficiency, economy and aesthetics. The team is able to assemble its bridge in less than five minutes.