In a normal year, the American Institute of Steel Construction would host engineering students from a multitude of campuses across the country in its highly anticipated steel bridge competition. This year, due to COVID-19, the organization offered a virtual option so students could compete from their home campuses.
The students representing the department included team captain Peyton Mize and team members Jim Hegedus, Zach Nieves, and Thomas Peplow, led by faculty advisor Assistant Professor Mark Denavit.
The team successfully built and load-tested the bridge, which had to fit certain requirements, including being able to successfully support at least 2,500 pounds.
“Competing from campus was different this year,” said Denavit, “But there was the same suspense as the students added the weight to the bridge and the same relief when the bridge held the load.”
UT is one of schools that competed in the Southeast region. Dedicated judges Trent Liguori of Southland Holdings, LLC and Tim Davis of McNary Bergeron and Associates made a road trip through Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee to judge teams in the region. After scores are tallied from all of the regional team entries, a selection of top teams will advance to the national round of competitions.