University of Florida Wins 2024 Student Steel Bridge Competition

June 4, 2024


CHICAGO – Student engineers from the University of Florida secured their fourth straight first-place overall win in the 2024 Student Steel Bridge Competition (SSBC) National Finals on June 1, breaking the consecutive titles record they set themselves in 2023.

Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La. served as the host school for the 2024 competition.

This year’s SSBC participants were challenged to design, fabricate, and quickly construct a scale-model steel bridge that would span a man-made river in a large disc golf course. Competitors had to find innovative ways to navigate new rules and challenging assembly constraints, including one of the widest conceptual rivers in the competition’s history.

University of Texas

"The competition weekend was a huge success," said Christina Harber, SE, PE, AISC's senior director of education. "There were so many excellent bridges, and I was really impressed with the high level of competition. These students worked all year on design, fabrication, and construction and competed with the best of the best. AISC is proud of all of them, and they should be proud of themselves, too."

Three teams competed in the national finals for the first time in their school's history: Auburn University, who placed 18th overall; Liberty University, who placed second in lightness; and William Jewell College, who placed second in economy and first in construction speed with their assembly time of four minutes, 30 seconds.

In addition to winning the overall prize (and $5,000 in scholarships), the University of Florida placed first in economy and lightness and came in second for efficiency. They achieved an 11-minute, 37-second assembly time with only two builders.

"I was nervous coming into the main competition," said Anthony Perez Ortegon, co-captain of the University of Florida steel bridge team. "These teams spent just as much time--if not more--as we did, putting in so much work. Seeing their bridges and how much they love them really puts this pressure on you that’s like, 'man, they brought the competition.'"

University at Buffalo came in second overall, winning second place in construction speed and third place in economy--plus $3,000 in scholarship funds.

Lafayette College won third place overall and brought home $2,000 in scholarship support. They received the Frank J. Hatfield Ingenuity Award, which recognizes innovative approaches to competition rules. Lafayette’s student engineers took advantage of a new SSBC rule requiring the use of rigid containers for loose nuts and bolts by wearing the containers on their arms for efficient access to the bolts.

"All 47 teams impressed us with their creativity, willingness to compete, and togetherness," said AISC President Charles J. Carter, SE, PE, PhD. "They made it such a wonderful weekend for all of us."

The SSBC planning committee also announced that Iowa State University is the official host of the 2025 SSBC National Finals (May 30 to 31 in Ames, Iowa).

The final results of the 2024 competition are as follows:

University of Florida
University at Buffalo
Lafayette College

Construction Speed
William Jewell College (0:4:30)
University at Buffalo (0:6:06)
University of California, Davis (0:6:22)

University of Florida
Liberty University
University of Connecticut

Virginia Tech
University of Michigan
University of Texas at Tyler, Houston Engineering Center

University of Wisconsin, Platteville
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
University of California, San Diego

Cost Estimate
University of Texas at Tyler, Houston Engineering Center
University of Connecticut
Pennsylvania State University, University Park

University of Florida
William Jewell College
University at Buffalo

University of Alaska, Fairbanks
University of Florida
University of Wisconsin, Platteville

Team Engagement Award
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Robert E. Shaw Jr. Spirit of the Competition Award
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Frank J. Hatfield Ingenuity Award
Lafayette College

John M. Yadlosky Most Improved Team Award
Arizona State University

Video Awards
University of British Columbia
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
University of North Carolina at Charlotte


For more information contact:

Dani Friedland
Director of Marketing Communications

American Institute of Steel Construction

The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC's mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, market development, and advocacy. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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