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2012.04.09 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

Regional Steel Bridge Competition to Feature UNO Students, Others

Omaha - Students from all over Nebraska, including those from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), will be competing in the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Student Steel Bridge Competition, co-sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), on Thursday, April 19.

As the nations oldest engineering society, ASCE represents more than 140,000 engineers across the globe. ASCE’s mission is to provide essential information for engineers, advance the engineering profession, and serve the public good. As part of this mission ASCE has developed student chapters at universities across the country.

Each year these student chapters meet in regional conferences to trade ideas, socialize, and most importantly, compete. The Midwest regional conference for 2012 will be held at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln with winners continuing on to the national comeptition at Clemson University on May 25 and 26.

As one of the main attractions of the conference, the Steel Bridge Competition gives students a chance to learn and gain hands on experience through designing, planning and fabricating a small steel bridge, which is scored on assembly speed, stiffness and weight. It must also be able to standup to the load of 2500 pounds.

Last year the ASCE student chapter from UNO placed second and qualified for the national competition.

UNO students began work on this year’s bridge design in September, brainstorming ideas toward the beginnings of a design. With help from their sponsors, Davis Erection and Drake-Williams Steel, the students were able to gain access to the resources and experience they needed.

Michael Naccarato, a structural engineer, sacrificed several Saturdays to help students work through the structural analysis process. The students were also able to benefit from two retired ironworkers, Dave Smith and Willie Bleich, who not only taught the students a lot about fabrication, but also helped make the project a reality.

Hundreds of hours spent over an eight-month period have led to a bridge design that will have to withstand not only the 2500-pound load, but also the judge’s scrutiny. Regardless of the outcome, the competing students say they have already achieved success through the value that comes with such a crucial learning experience.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urB.A.sn, regional, national and gloB.A.sl life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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