Winning Lawrence Tech students build bridge in only 12 minutes

Most people are familiar with steel bridges, but concrete canoes? Both were on display at Lawrence Technological University last weekend as part of its steel bridge construction and concrete canoe racing competition.

The event, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers, pitted engineering student teams from universities from the Midwest to create the best steel bridge or fastest concrete canoe. Lawrence Tech won the steel bridge competition, taking first in four of the six categories.

The students had to build a 20-foot long, three-foot wide and 2.5-feet tall bridge that could hold supporting 2,600 pounds. And the bridge must be able to be assembled within 12 minutes. Lawrence Tech’s bridge more than fit that bill.

“It’s made of aircraft steel, round tubing and square tubing,” says Nick Knust, a senior majoring in civil engineering at Lawrence Tech and captain of his school’s steel bridge team. “It’s really light. It’s only 140 pounds.”

It won in the stiffness, aesthetics, efficiency and construction speed categories. It now goes onto the national competition in Las Vegas on Memorial Day.

Source: Nick Knust, a senior majoring in civil engineering at Lawrence Tech and captain of his school’s steel bridge team
Writer: Jon Zemke