Cornell Steel Bridge: Designing, structural analyzing, fabricating, welding, and constructing!
Designing, structural analyzing, fabricating, welding, and constructing are the core experiences that Steel Bridge members gain from participating in a Cornell project team. Apart from providing hands-on experience simulating real-life practice in the industry, the Steel Bridge project team is also an opportunity for students to be involved in the nation-wide American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Student Steel Bridge Competition. During every academic year, our members create bridge designs under the proposed competition specifications and conduct structural analysis on the design. After electing a bridge design with the best structural efficiency, our team proceeds to fabricate and weld all bridge members in-house. The finished bridge members are assembled and constructed at the competition.
Being involved in the Steel Bridge project team has been one of the best experiences that I have had at Cornell. It exposes me to the entire pipelined structural engineering process – from designing to manufacturing to constructing the final structure. I would not be able to experience all of that in a classroom setting. One of the best parts about Steel Bridge is that our members are encouraged to be involved in multiple sub-teams to gain a variety of hands-on experiences. Without any prior experience, I had the opportunity to learn to generate CAD connection designs, fabricate and weld bridge members under safe conditions in the workshop, and attend construction practice all within an academic year. The Steel Bridge project team is undoubtedly an extensive learning opportunity for me, with upperclassmen’s comprehensive guidance.
Most importantly, the sense of community within the Steel Bridge project team is immense. With our cross-functional involvements, I am able to interact with both underclassmen and upperclassmen team members. The collaborative environment encourages me to learn from other members of the team, which further helped me to strengthen my soft skills and technical skills. With team-wide socials, whether in-person or virtual, we were able to get to know each other better and grow together as a team.
~Miyuki, computer science