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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

UALR Team Builds, Displays Steel Bridge

A 23-foot steel bridge designed, fabricated, and erected by a five-member team of students in UALR’s Construction Management and Construction Engineering programs is on display in the lobby of UALR’s Engineering and Information Technology building.

The bridge was built by UALR students who participated in the 2012 Student Steel Bridge Competition as a guest team in the contest sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Steel Construction.

“The UALR students participated as a guest team this year but hope to be an official ASCE student organization so they can compete as a regular team next year,” said instructor Mark Squires, who accompanied the team to the University of Tennessee at Martin for the ASCE Deep South Student Conference.

The event included seven different competitions – display, weight, timed construction, construction efficiency, stiffness, structural efficiency, and overall.

“These competitions provide students with hands-on experience in the design, optimization, fabrication, construction, and testing of a steel structure. The experience gives them an opportunity to put the theories that they learn in their construction engineering and construction management courses into practice,” said Dr. Nicholas Jovanovic, associate professor of construction management. “The primary goal is to design a bridge that is very stiff, but also very light, and then build it efficiently.”

Student team members were:

  • Mugabo Ignace Nkurikyimfura, construction engineering, team captain, of Butare, Rwanda
  • Sultan al-Araimi, construction engineering, of Muscat, Oman
  • Abdulaziz Alrowili, construction engineering, of Arar, Saudi Arabia
  • Micah Lopez, construction management, of Belize City, Belize
  • Pacifique Nshuti Mwabo, construction engineering, of Kigali, Rwanda

The steel used in the bridge was donated by Lexicon Steel and Ryerson Steel, both of Little Rock. The bridge is painted in UALR colors of maroon, black, and silver.