2004 – 2005

(06/26/05) – They went…they battled…and they died trying.  After a long and promising National Competition the UW Team came down to the last 25lb angle iron.  With a digital deflection of an aggregate 0.24 in., a second passed, and the Bridge collapsed.  It was a painful sight for some, a relieving sight for more and a surprising sight for all.  The team that was known for walking the edge of failure had wondered too far.  The numbers that they had put up during the competition would have sealed a top spot, but knowing that almost made it worse…

We did not come away with the trophy this year, but there is no doubt we left with well deserved respect.  Make no mistake, coming this close to the delicacy of victory will only make us hungrier.  With three new co-chairs and five returning, next year is surely not a “rebuilding year”.

As far as the competition itself, it was nothing less than awesome.  It was the best organized and most professional competition I have been to thus far.  The UW Team would like to thank The University of Central Florida for putting on such a quality competition.  We also congratulate the teams that took home the goods and the ones that did not.  We will see you next year.

(04/26/05) – Congratulations!  To the 2005 UW Steel Bridge Team for bringing home yet another 1st Place Regional finish!  The road was long and hard with many bumps in the road that included a couple of failures, design flaws and a sprained ankle.  In the end the team pulled through and made a great showing at this years Regionals in Chicago.  Our team took home the 1st place prize in Lightness, Stiffness, Construction Economy, Structural Efficiency and the Overall.  Construction Speed and Aesthetics went to our good friends at the University of Illinois Urbana Champagne who will be joining us in Florida for the National competition.  There is much work to be done before the big trip, but it will be met with egger minds and skilled hands.  I will post some pictures of the competition and a new team picture a.s.a.p.  Go Bridge!

(02/25/05) – Hey folks, a few meetings have gone by since I last saw you and a few modification days.  Everything is fitting together well now and we are feeling pretty good about it.  We have even decided on a t-shirt logo, however it was anything but a unanimous vote.  I will post it as soon as it’s digitized.  Also, look for some new pics coming soon, hopefully today.  Booyah!

(02/05/05) - Congratulations!  The 2005 Steel Bridge team has completed their Bridge!  For the most part…  Coming back from Endres the Bridge looked good and not very shinny, of coarse.  Now begins the days of modifications and making sure everything works and is legal.  We will be having construction practices now, so if you think you’re fast enough, come on down!  As the second semester begins we are looking for new members to get more involved; that is the way it usually works because they now they have a tangible structure to reference and work off of.  Everything up until now has been on paper and in AutoCAD.  So we will see soon has the veins big enough for Bridge blood!

2005 Steel Bridge Preview:

…I’m sure you saw that coming…

(01/21/05) -  The pictures are fixed everybody.  Go on, check them out!  I know you want to!

(01/18/05) -  FIRST BRIDGE MEETING OF THE SEMESTER!!!  Pretty good group of folks ready to get started.  This meeting was mostly unofficial since we have not had the first ASCE meeting which is when most of the newest members are assimilated.  Bryan and Abby showed us what has been done with the Bridge so far and what is left to be done.  There are still welds to be done and pieces to be fabricated but for the most part the Bridge is looking pretty complete.  Hopefully early next week it will be completely done and we will be able to start construction practice.  Who is gonna join!!!  I can’t wait to see the happy faces grasping steel for the first time!  The official kickoff meeting will be next Tuesday.  Also!!!  Anyone is welcome to come to help finish the Bridge this weekend and next Monday.  Shoot an e-mail if you are game.  The pictures are still down and I am stumped why.  I will be asking the CAE computer guys what the deal is and hopefully get some pics up.  Till then, keep Bridgeing!!!

(01/10/05) -  Fabrication week has begun and not all of the steel is in but the group is plenty busy with many of t he more intricate pieces.  Some members are still working at the ECB while the others are at Endres.  We have not began the welding of the Bridge but hopefully soon we will induce the electric snake.  Ahhh, the days of getting to work in the dark and leaving in the dark; that is when you know you have been working hard.  Lets just hope Bryan stays away from the ban saw!

(01/03/05) -  This week is the crunch week.  Bryan and Abby have been working like crazy people and they have a long way to go.  Every waking moment for them and a select few others is dedicated to Bridge.  As you may know next week is fabrication week.  The week where the majority of the Bridge is built.  Mike the welder at Endres will be our super man welder guy.  He has played this role for the past three years and has done a fine job.  We have been utilizing the machine shop in ECB to do preliminary work so there is less to do for next week.  Hopefully the steel will be on time and the helpers will show up.  We have been taking a lot of pictures but I have been having problems with the webpage.  I’ll try to get them up a.s.a.p.

(12/14/04) -  Mmmm, the pizza at today’s meeting was delicious.  It sat well with the drinks of Bridge knowledge we all shared.  There was an energy today that we have not seen since the beginning.  Many quiet members were no longer quiet and it was awesome!  Dan Zess showed his contemplation of a truss connection that we critiqued, as did Paul Ford and Dave Chmielewski.  They used some sort of unique screw combo.  Kelly Lamb mixed a blast from the past with her own idea.  I could go into more detail, but that wouldn’t be very Bridge of me.  We ended by taking a holiday picture of the whole group.  So many smiley faces.  Have happy holidays!

(12/11/04) -  Wow, Endres was awesome!  We cut 1.5 inches of steel like butter, not that weak margarine stuff.  Ken, the owner of Endres, took us around and showed the group the processes of steel fabrication.  Endres does everything from fancy stair cases to massive steel buildings.  If you want to learn more about Endres go towww.endresmfg.com or visit our sponsor page.  We also bought a brand new digital camera just for Bridge!  It has 4.0 mega pixels, hi-res display, and 4x optical zoom!  Lots of stuff we know nothing about!  But that’s okay, we will figure it out.  Today and tomorrow Bryan and Abby will be holding design sessions at the Bridge office to finalize the Bridge design.  We are looking at bringing back a blast from the past idea, but that is all I can tell you, sworn to secrecy.  Anyway, look for the Endres tour and meeting pics coming soon.  Bridge rules!

(12/07/04) -  Abby handed out a handful of forms for the team to sign so that they would be clear to work in the Bridge lab and the ECB lab.  This way we won’t be responsible if someone goes home with a 1/4″ steel sliver!  Not fun.  We picked and prodded at Bryan’s favorite Bridge design.  It may become that one we have been dreaming of.  The biggest issue we have been faced with is ease of construction.  With no barge and a long span over-the-water bolts are going to be tuff.  The good thing is that we have lots of young eager minds working on the problem.  We will be going to Endres this Friday around 2:30 PM.  Bring your work boots!

(11/30/04) -   Happy belated turkey day!  The time is ticking away and the team has been narrowing options for the Bridge design.  Bryan displayed a few of his best that performed very well, each worthy of becoming…the one.  We also tallied the volunteers we have for fabrication week coming up in January.  We will have the co-chairs as well as a few new members cutting, sanding and welding steel for use.  Lets hope they don’t get too close to the ban saw!  The Endres tour has been rescheduled to the lucky Friday two weeks from now.  Bring your safety glasses!  Matt is almost done with the Thank You letters for our sponsors.  He plans to send them out in a week or so.  At the end of the meeting the team was assigned to each come with a connection idea for next week’s meeting.  There may be a pop quiz to!

(11/22/04) – Due to a team with busy schedules the trip to Endres was cancelled, but do not worry!  Another date will be set at tomorrow’s meeting.  We are also expecting a guest or two from past Bridge teams tomorrow.  It will be exciting to mix the old with the new.  Go Bridge!

(11/16/04) – Today we had a wonderful design meeting where various members showed some of their designs.  Mike Arnold displayed a cool concept on reverse moments he installed in his Bridge.  Robbie Sivak presented a connections idea that he thought up while looking at the hockey arena structure here in MaddTowne.  Abby the co-chair rendered a couple of her Bridges while some of the other members discussed its pros and cons.  This Friday we will be going on a trip to Endres Manufacturing to take a tour.  Some of our younger members will be able to see where we do the majority of our fabrication in the winter; and it is always nice to visit the men and women at Endres.  They usually have donuts there!

(11/10/04) – For the past couple of months we have been working diligently on various Bridge designs.  A couple of our members managed to make loading templates for both Visual Analysis and SAP2000.  This is making analysis a lot easier for the whole team.  Members that are not as experienced are getting a chance to see what their brain childs can do according the the 2005 rules.  Abby and Bryan, (the co-chairs), have been tending to the many co-chair duties.  This includes running, organizing, documenting meetings, organizing trips to Endres Manufacturing, designing our bridge, overseeing everything that is going on.  Nice job guys.  Matt Iwanski, the fundraising chair, did a great job pushing everyone to get involved stuffing envelopes as he sent off letters to our sponsors.  They have already been helping us out!  Thanks again!

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