2010 – 2011

Dear Bridge Diary

(4/18/11) – REGIONAL CHAMPS!!! Well it took long enough to update the diary, but after a hectic few weeks leading up to the regional competition, we are starting to get caught up with schoolwork. The regional weekend was a huge success: we took first overall and were in the top three in every category. You know what that means, its on to the national competition, this year being held in College Station, TX. As finals draw nearer, we are starting to get busy again studying and working on the bridge to fine tune everything before nationals. We’ll have to hit the books hard so we can have a great trip down to Texas and hopefully come back champs.

(3/8/11) – We are really starting to get down to it! As regionals is about 3 weeks away, we need to get into crunch time mode and get the bridge fine tuned. We still have plenty of shop work to do, but have a plan so everything should work out. In case you missed it, the past month has been successful with choosing on a construction team and performing some load testing to ensure our design performs well under pressure (pun intended). Time to get back to the grind as we need to get several tasks done before people start leaving to enjoy spring break.

(2/8/11) – The past month produced a successful load test and lots of construction practices. We will be deciding on the final construction team in the coming days. We’re currently working on buffing up the bridge and designing this year’s shirts, posters and other importatnt items. With less than two months until regionals in Milwaukee its time to hunker down and get all those tasks done as soon as possible.

(1/10/11) – After a long week spent in the lab and at Endres Manufacturing, we finally have a bridge for this year. The past month has been a long and stressful one but we were able to create all our shop drawings, make a model of the bridge, spend hours and hours in the student shop fabricating connections, build a sweet bridge and also have a little (too much) fun. Looking ahead to this semester we still have a lot of work to get done before regionals in Milwaukee. Making some hopefully minor adjustments to the design, fielding a construction team and putting some weight on the bridge are all on the to-do list that is ever growing.

(12/8/10) – The design of the bridge has been completed through a tireless effort of the whole team. However our task list for the semester upcoming grows and grows as the year progresses. The list now includes: creating shop drawings, fabricating connections, ordering materials and tools, and studying for final exams (optional). Looking ahead it should be a funfilled winter break with the holidays, fabrication week, and of course the ROSE BOWL!

(12/1/10) – Crunch time as we are nearing the deadline to submit our design in order to order steel for the 2011 Bridge. Also running through our minds is making last minute winter break plans which now can include a trip to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl…Go Badgers!! The semester came and left in a flash, but it has produced a whole slew of memories and experiences, some best left unsaid.

(11/2/10) – After an exciting and fun-filled Halloween weekend, this is the time for the team to get back to designing this year’s bridge. With just over one month to go in the design phase, it is time to hunker down in the computer lab get to comfortable with our new best friends: SAP, caffiene and little to no natural lighting. How Fun!

(10/17/10) – The first design meeting has came and gone and it was considered by all to be a great success (not unlike the recent Badger Football game and field storming that ensued). After working out some of the kinks in our model, the team dove headfirst into SAP2000 to attempt to design the most efficient bridge in the nation. After tinkering with the basic tools of SAP our next challenge is to get our cost under $3,000,000,000…so hopefully everyone has their thinking caps on.

(10/5/10) – After going through the basics of the rules with the team, including all major rule changes as well as the new envelopes and construction yard layouts, the team headed to the Structures Lab to set up and load last year’s bridge. Thankfully it still held a load and provided new members an opportunity to see how a load test would be performed. Next up will be our first design meeting using SAP2000 to try and see which of us is able to design the most structurally efficient bridge.

(9/28/10) – The team has just begun to form. Last week our experimental design of balsa bridges. Despite the intrigue behind “Salsa Bridge”, the “Tie-Breaker” came in and dominated. It even avoided our inital attempts at destruction by surviving both the maximum load and an ensuing flip and fall, but that did not last. Upcoming we are about to dive completely into the design process, reliving those nightmares that SAP2000 brings. Who knows, maybe by the time we are done, it will no longer be an “untested application”.

(8/13/10) – Well summer was a nice break. We had the opportunity to rest our minds and bodies to be ready for the demand of this year. And it has officially began. With the rules recently posted we are back in the saddle, getting down to business creating this year’s design. With all the rule changes, we need to be sure of what we need to do.

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