University News

ASCE-WNE Steel Team Builds Bridge to Success

Published: May 09, 2024 | Categories: All News, Engineering
Steel Bridge team standing in front of the bridge they constructed.

If you've ever taken a vacation on Cape Cod then you likely crossed the Bourne Bridge to get there. At nearly 100 years old, the Bourne Bridge is one of the most famous examples of a steel bridge in Massachusetts and remains threatened by issues of aging and climate.

Challenges faced by America's infrastructure like steel bridges is one example of how Western New England University's civil and environmental engineering students are working beyond the classroom to test their knowledge and skills. Imagining and re-imagining tough structural problems such as the need for bridges like the Bourne Bridge that are strong, resilient, and aesthetically pleasing is a very real concern for many communities. Aesthetics is a critical consideration for community leaders as bridge appearance can often influence overall project costs.

For the second year in a row, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)-WNE Steel Team successfully completed the 2024 Northeast Steel Bridge Competition hosted at the University of New Hampshire on April 20th. Each team is tasked with developing a concept for a scale-model steel bridge to span approximately 20 feet and to carry 2,500 pounds according to the competition rules. Bridges are assembled under timed construction conditions; they are also load-tested, weighed, and judged on aesthetics. This year, the ASCE-WNE club won first place in the Aesthetics category, and placed 7th overall out of 13 universities in the Northeast.

The ASCE-WNE Steel Team impressed their judges and fellow competitors with their WNE school spirit while also proving competitive. The team included: seniors Keara Mooney, Owen Feindel; juniors Simon Banas, William Shtefan, Charles Maloy, Andrew Mayo, Alexander Gilbert; sophomore Michael Preiss; and freshman Michael Szlag. Several students remarked, "This feels more like a family not just not a student club."

Team advisor, Associate Professor Moochul Shin, was particularly proud of the teams' capacity for quick decision making and collaboration that led to the team's successful showing in the competition.

Visit WNE's College of Engineering to learn more about our comprehensive undergraduate and graduate engineering programs.