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UMass Lowell Students to Build Bridge in Minutes

Practice Prepares Team for Regional Finals of National Engineering Contest


Contacts for media: Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or

* M E D I A   A D V I S O R Y *

Thursday, April 17
2 to 3 p.m.

WHAT:  UMass Lowell students preparing to compete in the regional round of the 2014 National Student Steel Bridge Competition will put their engineering and construction skills to the test as they practice assembling a model bridge they designed for the contest.

Sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Steel Construction, the annual competition asks collegiate teams from across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico to design and fabricate a scale model of a steel bridge, then build it on site. Teams are judged on how quickly they can assemble their span, its structural efficacy, economy, lightness and stiffness, and the quality of a presentation about their work.

From April 25 to April 27, the team will host the regionals and compete against 14 other contenders. This is the first time the regionals will be held at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. The competition is being held in conjunction with the regional round of the Concrete Canoe Competition as part of the 2014 New England ASCE Student Conference.

Students – all civil engineering majors – who are scheduled to participate in the practice session hail from Ipswich, Lowell, Methuen, Plymouth, Salem, Saugus, Swansea, Taunton, Tewksbury, Winthrop, Woburn and Windham, N.H.

Last year’s UMass Lowell team made it to the competition’s championship round in Seattle and placed 14th among 49 teams by assembling a 39-section steel bridge in less than 11 minutes. That model spanned 15 feet 10.5 inches, weighed 104 pounds and could support 2,500 pounds of distributed weight. This year’s national championships will be held in May in Ohio.

WHERE:  Cumnock Hall auditorium, North Campus, 31 University Ave., Lowell. Contact UMass Lowell media relations for directions and parking information.