KLAMATH FALLS — The Oregon Institute of Technology steel bridge team, led by construction captain Grant Banister of Pendleton, placed 19th at the 2019 American Institute of Steel Construction Student Steel Bridge Competition.
The team also included design captain Bryce Terhune, Dan Iwicki, Michael Hoie, Cody Faber, Kayla de Hoop, Alex Holland and Ian Pargeter. C.J. Riley, civil engineering professor and team faculty adviser; and Pat Kile, civil engineering laboratory technician, provided technical support and consultation.
Earlier this spring, the Oregon Tech team placed second at the regional version of the competition at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington, which qualified them to compete at nationals. The national competition, which concluded June 1, was held at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. It included 41 teams from across the nation.
The competition challenges student teams to develop a scale-model steel bridge, providing valuable hands-on experience by designing, fabricating and erecting steel bridges. The team must determine how to fabricate their bridge and then plan for an efficient assembly under timed construction at the competition.
The bridge must span approximately 20 feet, carry 2,500 pounds, and must meet all other specifications of the competition rules. Bridge aesthetics are also judged and considered in the final results of the competition.
At the regional event, the team had the fastest construction speed of 9.97 minutes, well ahead of the next team with a time of over 18 minutes. The OIT team practiced in the weeks leading up to the nationals. That paid off as they whittled their time down to 6.08 minutes at the national finals, which earned them a fourth place finish in both the construction speed and construction economy (speed/weight) categories.
“This is a phenomenal representation of our institution and program on a national stage, and the team’s construction performance was truly inspiring,” Riley said. “The steel bridge team next year now has a lot of experience and knowledge to build from … to participate next year.”
For more information, search www.oit.edu.