HOUGHTON - Michigan Technological University's steel bridge team is still relishing its May victory at the National Student Steel Bridge Competition at Clemson University, and it is getting ready to head back to the drawing board.
"We did very well," said teammate Adam Newton. "I'm really happy with how the team performed."
The team walked away with fourth place in the nation, taking two first-place finishes in categories and beating several teams they lost against last year.
Stacey Kukkonen/Daily Mining Gazette
Michigan Technological University’s steel bridge team displays its 2010-11 bridge model at the Carnegie Museum in November. The team took fourth place out of 47 teams at a competition in May.
Among 47 different universities from the United States, China, Mexico and Canada, Tech's team proved to be No. 1 and took first place for lightness and construction efficiency.
In November, the team brought last year's bridge to the Carnegie Museum in Houghton where they allowed people to climb around the large, metal contraption and ask questions.
"We were in the process of designing the new bridge at that time," he said.
By the end of the school year, the team was able to submit a new bridge, which has a few different parameters.
"It was a little bit different," Newton said. "Last year's bridge wouldn't have satisfied the criteria."
The team was tasked with designing a bridge strong enough to hold 2,500 pounds and span an imaginary river.
The students were encouraged to minimize the amount of steel used while being time-efficient as well.
The model, spanning several feet, was moved and put together at the competition, sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction and the American Society of Civil Engineers.
"We're coming off a two-year run where we're doing pretty well," Newton said.
Now it's back to designing when classes begin in the fall, as the team expects to take home more wins for the university.
The regional competition is at Michigan Tech next year.
The team hopes to advance to nationals without Newton, who graduated in April.
"We hope to be in the top five again," he said.