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Designing a steel bridge: Jake Johnston

June 16th, 2011

Jake JohnstonJake Johnston, who will graduate with a degree in civil engineering, is primarily interested in transportation surveying, so he was excited about the opportunity to take part in the Student Steel Bridge competition for a second year. Sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction and the American Society of Civil Engineers, the national competition requires a team of juniors and seniors to design a steel bridge after receiving rules for the contest. Team members designed the project during fall term and built the model during winter term.

The competition emphasizes innovation in steel design, with a focus on strength, resiliency, performance under difficult conditions, and aesthetics. This year’s regional competition was held at the University of Alaska in Anchorage. Points were awarded for economy, efficiency, weight, construction speed, and deflection. Oregon State’s model was the lightest bridge in this year’s competition. The team earned second place for deflection and sixth place overall.

“It’s a great opportunity to get physical practice in designing and seeing the work realized,” said Johnston, who transferred to Oregon State from Linn-Benton Community College and particularly enjoyed an internship at the City of Portland during his time at Oregon State.

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