Jun 6, 2008    #070
Contact: John Austin

UMKC Steel Bridge team wraps up banner year with top 10 finish in national competition Students build on regional win to engineer impressive showing on national stage

Building on their first-place finish in the regional competition, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Steel Bridge Team garnered its first-ever top 10 finish in the annual National Student Steel Bridge Competition. The competition — sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) — is an annual inter-collegiate civil engineering competition that challenges the students in university civil engineering programs to design, fabricate, construct, and test a steel bridge. This year’s invitation-only competition was held at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Comprised of students from the School of Computing and Engineering, the UMKC team beat out engineering powerhouses such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) to finish seventh overall out of 42 competing universities. The students who represented UMKC at the national competition are Matthew Spurrier, Hunter Kephart, Patrick Benware, Aaron Castro, Craig Cogan and Marc Phillips. Two other team members, Justin Collier and David Kidd, were not able to make the trip to the national competition.

“It was because of the dedication and hard work of all of our team members that we were so successful this year,” said team co-captain Hunter Kephart. “This competition requires a strong team that can work well together and get things done quickly and efficiently, and we had that. The long hours spent designing, fabricating, and especially practicing, really paid off.”

This year marks the third consecutive year that the UMKC Steel Bridge Team has finished first in the regional competition and been invited to compete in the national competition.

“After a little bit of a disappointing showing at last year’s nationals, this year’s team was determined to finish in the top 10. Not only did they do that, they actually finished first in one of the individual judging categories,” said Jerry Richardson, UMKC associate professor of Civil & Mechanical Engineering and faculty advisor to the steel bridge team. “This is a huge accomplishment.”

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban engagement.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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