2005 – 2006

Dear Bridge Diary

(05/31/06) – The 2006 National Student Steel Bridge Competition was a frantic and fierce two days. The construction team was one of the fastest in the land and the bridge was no slouch in structural integrity. Taking 2nd in Aesthetics, 3rd in Economy, and 4th in Construction Speed, Stiffness, and Efficiency, the Team put on an impressive showing. In the end, the UW Steel Bridge Team took home Third Place overall plaque, a testament to the hard work and dedication put in by all of its members. The Team would like to thank everyone who helped in any way, shape, or form this year, especially their wonderfull sponsors. Another big thank you to the University of Utah for hosting the 2006 NSSBC and a congratulations goes out to all of the teams that made it that far. Come back next year for another fun and exciting installment of UW Steel Bridge!

(04/30/06) – The 2006 Great Lakes Regional Competition has concluded with the 2006 UW Steel  Bridge Team emerging as champions again.  All the hard work has paid off and the UW Steel Bridge Team will make another appearance at the national competition held in Salt Lake City this year.  Goals are set high as the team hopes to come home with the school’s first ever national championship.  Improvements need to be made, but with a little more hard work the team knows they should be in contention.  Good luck with finals and hope to see you all in Salt Lake City cheering on the Badgers.

(03/27/06) – What a crazy week.  The day of reckoning has come and gone as our husky bridge has proved it can perform and hold the weight!!!  First time there was no failure on the first test in 3 years!!!  The team is ecstatic and continuing to prepare for regionals.  Although the load test is complete, many little tasks must be completed on the bridge to fully prepare it for competition.  Construction practiced occurred again this weekend with the team ever improving.  Finally, the shirt design is coming together so all you creative minds start thinking how we can produce the best looking bridge in the nation!!!   See you all next week at the meeting.

(03/20/06) – Ahhhhh…  Spring Break.  A time for sun, relaxation, and maybe some other festivities.  Or, if your on the steel bridge team, a time to catch up.  The team spent the week of spring break attempting to bring the bridge to completion.  On Monday, the co-chairs went to Endres to fix an alignment problem with the bridge.  Tuesday, brought a full day of work: adding bolt plates, finishing pieces, and fixing cross-bracing.  Wednesday brought the same as Tuesday, but Thursday the co-chairs finally got some rest as the bridge nears a completion stature where a load test can be done.

(03/04/06) – The past couple of weeks have been hectic and challenging for our hard-working co-chairs.  These three fine men have been continually working, with the help of various members of the team, to bring our bridge to completion stature.  Cross-bracing has been added, bolt plates and stoppers put in place, and this all done while attempting to make it to class everyday.  In addition, our construction team is coming together and showing incredible improvement.  I believe we are close to finalize our team of esteemed and highly-recruited athletes.  These kids are the best of the best.  Even our reserves turned down offers from accredited schools to be on this team.  Times are improving and the team is starting to get to know the bridge (how pieces fit together, what things work, and what don’t).  We hope to have a well-oiled machine come Regionals time.  Our goal is to show the home crowd something special this year.

(02/11/06) – Today, the best of the best came out to give it their all at making our elusive construction team.  The turnout was incredible and the athletes put on a show.  (Although little athletic ability was needed for this practice)  Construction is a very intricate process, which takes a considerable amount of planning.  The day was focused on experimenting to determine the best and most efficient way to assemble the bridge.  Parts were cantilevered over the water, pieces were balanced, and we couldn’t have an official construction practice without something breaking (we had one piece bend, but it’s fixable, don’t worry).  The practice produced some encouraging results, which we hope to improve on in the next practice.

(01/17/06) – Back from spring break the team was greeted with a nearly completed beautiful bridge.  After a week of long hard work, we finally have a bridge that can stand on its own.  She’s a beaut let me tell ya.  Seven members of our team went to Endres Manufacturing to cut pieces, sand, grind, and bleed bridge.  Working from 8 – 5, the team members sacrificed part of their winter break for the good of bridge.  All will say the effort was well worth it.  Now that the bridge is close to completion, we can expect to begin our construction practices soon.  So, everyone hit the weight room and start practicing that shuttle run because we have a nation to impress again.

 (11/29/05) – We have made some significant strides since the last diary entry.  The preliminary design for the 2006 bridge was presented yesterday at the meeting.  Now it is time to tweak the design in order to produce a nationally competitive bridge.  The co-chairs have been working late into the night to finalize the sizes of steel being used so that an order can be placed.  Our focus has now turned extensively to connections.  The Thanksgiving final design goal has not been reached once again.  The new goal is Christmas Day!  Most likely this won’t happen, but at least we have goals set.  In addition, a new webmaster has taken over the Steel Bridge Team website.  Ideally, he will be able to maintain the site as well as the Great D, but that may not be possible.  So until next time, “Keep on keeping on.”

(10/31/05) – The Bridge team has yet another meeting tonight to work on the great design of 2006.  The past few weeks have marked numerous concepts and ideas that we as a team have discussed.  No major decisions have been made yet but are peering their heads around the corner.  Hopefully by Thanksgiving the design will be wrapped up so we all can concentrate on fabrication.  That has been a goal for the teams since 2003 but has never actually been achieved.  We will see.  The Endres tour is coming soon, this Friday to be exact.  I believe we will leave around 1:30PM to the most helpful fabrication company on earth.  I have a blast every time I’m there.  We can’t wait to bring some fresh blood to the area as well.  Fundraising letters were sent out a few weeks ago and we have been again blessed with awesome sponsors, with hopefully many more to come.  We have been taking lots more pictures that will be up shortly as soon as I get the camera back from a borrower.  Until then, you stay classy Steel Bridge Team.

(10/04/05) – Yesterday was the first official design meeting for our UW team.  The co-chairs brought us through a presentation of past teams including our own and others from previous national competitions.  We discussed some strengths and weaknesses and how they might apply to this years Bridge.  Then we broke up into small groups and threw some ideas around.  Afterwards we discussed them.  We are applying a new idea this year, and that is to have all members send Bridge their .$2k files from their designs.  That way we can all share in each other’s glory.  ‘Till next week.

 (09/26/05) – Today was a great day for learning SAP2000…so that is what we did.  Our big boy Nate took the helm and showed some folks how to put in some designs on the template they made.  Good stuff.  He also showed some newer stuff since SAP2000 was just updated this year.  We took some more pics that will be up soon and some more member photos have been added.  We did some hunting and found a few of new members that they are not expecting…we’re sneaky like that.  Evil Facebook.  Maybe they won’t see them.  Anyway, next meeting is next Monday!  The only thing that makes Mondays great!

(09/17/05) – Come one come all, to see the pictures from the 2005 competition.  Just go to the Team Historypage and check it out.  This years team photos will be coming shortly as well.  Hope you are ready for the rules meeting on Monday!

(09/13/05) – Ladies and gentlemen!  The unthinkable has happened!  The 2006 UW Steel Bridge Team has been born!  It has three heads, that leaves much to be desired, with 1000 toes and 1000 fingers!  The team had its first meeting last night and it was the most energetic SBT kickoff meeting in the last four years!  People were asking questions, writing things down, making jokes, all the things one would expect from a team that had been together for months!  The potential is high with this group, I can feel it in my knees.  A simple icebreaker was to say your name or nickname…and how we are supposed to remember it.  It was effective.  The chairs then showed a twenty minute video recap of the 2005 year to give the new brains a good idea of what we are all about.  Even our beloved Prof. Cramer came to give us his support…and take our pizza.  Our meetings are going to be Mondays at 6:30PM on the second floor of Engineering Hall, usually room 2309 or one next to it.  Next week it is planned to hold a rules meeting to get everyone up to speed on what changes have been made from last year.  It’s gonna be Awesome baby!  With a capital “A”!

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