CORVALLIS - The Oregon State University student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers has placed third in the nation in the AISC National Steel Bridge Competition held in Texas.

The accomplishment followed a regional competition at the ASCE Pacific Northwest Regional Conference in Spokane, Wash., in which the OSU team finished first in overall performance. This qualified them for the national competition.

In this contest, the students had to create a design that could cross over a 14-foot river and carry 2,000 pounds of load in the center of the span. The ends of the bridge had to be cantilevers, one of which was selected to carry an additional 500 pounds. The 14 teams were scored in seven categories: lightness, construction speed, stiffness, efficiency, economy, aesthetics, and overall performance.

The national contest, sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction, was held at Texas A&M University. The OSU team placed first in aesthetics, third in efficiency, and third place overall.

"This is a great performance, the best ever in four trips to nationals by OSU's students," said Chris Bell, associate dean of the College of Engineering.

The bridge design is on display in Apperson Hall on the OSU campus.

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Chris Bell, 541-737-1598