Virginia Tech selected to host National Student Steel Bridge Competition

By Paige West

virginia techVirginia Tech will welcome hundreds of engineering students from across the nation to its Blacksburg campus May 22-23 for the National Student Steel Bridge Competition.

Virginia Tech was announced as the host with a video, which was shown at the 2019 Student Steel Bridge Competition at Southern Illinois University.

“We are honored to be able to host this national competition. It is a great chance to show what makes Virginia Tech such a strong civil and environmental engineering program,” said Matthew Hebdon, assistant professor and faculty advisor. “Hundreds of the top structural engineering students from across the country, as well as faculty and practitioners, will attend this event, making it a fantastic networking opportunity for everyone involved.”

The main competition and awards banquet will take place in the Beamer-Lawson Indoor Practice Facility on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus. The aesthetics judging will be located in the concourse area of Lane Stadium. During the two-day event, participants will have the option to explore campus and take in the famous Hokie Stone architecture.

The Student Steel Bridge Competition is sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction, who works with host schools to plan the regional events and the national finals. Top finishers at the 2020 regional events qualify to compete at the 2020 national finals in Blacksburg.

“Being a part of the Steel Bridge team is an amazing experience, and attending competitions taught me a lot about civil engineering,” said Paige West, civil engineering graduate student and member of the student steel bridge competition national finals planning committee. “I loved working on a team and seeing a bridge I helped design and build come to life.”

The Steel Bridge Competition has taken place since 1987 when Lawrence Tech, Michigan Tech, and Wayne State competed in a parking lot to determine who had the best bridge. This first competition sparked an interest in the competition across the country, thus starting the regional and national events. The competition has grown every year since, and now there are approximately 200 schools that compete each year.

For more information about the event and to find ways to sponsor or volunteer for the event, please visit the website.


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