Purdue Northwest steel bridge team makes history

Purdue-Northwest-steel-bridge-team-makes-historySix Purdue University Northwest (PNW) civil engineering students made PNW history by placing second overall at the recent American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Student Steel Bridge Great Lakes Regional Competition. The placement qualifies the team to advance to the national finals competition at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale at the end of May (5/31 - 6/1).

“This is the very first time the PNW steel bridge team advances to the national finals,” said faculty advisor and Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Chien-Chung Chen. “As we are very excited about this great achievement, I also hope it inspires our students to dream big because I truly believe that they can be anyone they want to be and achieve anything they want when they put their hearts into it.”

About the competition The student steel bridge competition increases students’ awareness of real-world engineering issues such as spatial constraints, fabrication processes, project management, and effective teamwork. Each team is given a problem statement and then must design, fabricate, and erect a steel bridge within the given specifications. The team is scored in display, construction speed, lightness, stiffness, construction economy, structural efficiency, and overall performance.

“The student steel bridge competition is a challenging project, which requires students to apply their knowledge to design a steel bridge that is safe and can be efficiently constructed,” said Chen. “The success of the PNW steel bridge team in the past few years is a testament to our students’ talents and hard work.”

In addition to placing second overall, the team also won first place in both the Construction Speed and Construction Economy categories.

Student team members PNW Steel Bridge team members are: Juan Padilla, Hammond; Santiago Burgos, Hobart; Neil Weber, Schererville; Haley Nowakowski, Portage; Sara Fisch, Griffith; and Trina Cook, Schererville.

The School of Engineering at Purdue University Northwest The PNW School of Engineering is recognized for its expertise in mechanical, civil, computer, and electrical engineering. In 2019, U.S. News ranked the school No. 35 among the Best Engineering Programs in the U.S., of engineering schools whose highest degree is a bachelor's or master's degree.

Purdue University Northwest Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is a student-centered university that values academic excellence, supports growth and celebrates diversity. Located in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago, PNW fosters a vibrant academic community through high quality and engaging undergraduate and graduate education. For more information about PNW, visit www.pnw.edu.