Student welding steel bridge component

Civil engineering student Arquimedes Ponce (Photo by Clark Chen)

Fabricating the ApoCALypse

Berkeley’s Steel Bridge Team, based in the civil and environmental engineering department, competed against 600 students from 47 engineering schools this May to win the 2012 national Steel Bridge title.

The hard-fought victory came after a crushing blow at last year’s competition, when the Cal team was disqualified after failing the lateral load test. The setback weighed heavy on the young engineers, and this year the students redoubled their efforts to win or place in many categories, leading to an overall victory.

The 35-member team named their bridge design the ApoCALypse. Built at a 1:10 scale, the bridge is a series of interlocking parts that when fitted and fastened together create a structure that is 22.5 feet long, weighs 131 pounds and is able to hold 2,500 pounds.

Entries were judged on stiffness, lightness, display, efficiency, economy and speed. Besides solid engineering, the team’s success depended, in large part, on how well they worked together to assemble the bridge quickly and accurately.

WEB EXTRA > Hear more from ApoCALypse project manager Sabrina Odah (B.S.’12 CEE) in a short video.


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