Hopkins and Van Zee help WKU steel bridge team place at nationals

Posted on May 28, 2015 8:00 PM

WKU civil engineering students competed in the 2015 National Student Steel Bridge Competition May 22-23 at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Team members include Russellville High School graduate Raymond Van Zee and Logan County High school graduate Justin Hopkins.

Approximately 3,000 civil engineering students from across the nation and world built more than 215 steel bridges and competed in regional competitions in hopes of qualifying for the national competition.

The WKU Steel Bridge team earned its third consecutive trip to the national competition with a first-place finish at the regional competition in March. At the 2015 National Steel Bridge Competition, WKU finished 25th overall, up from 34th from the previous year. The University of Florida won the competition.

WKU’s steel bridge finished sixth in the nation for display, which is based on the appearance of the constructed bridge and the poster describing the design process; 18th for stiffness, which is a measure of the strength of the bridge; 22nd for structural efficiency, which represents a measure of the total net cost of the bridge, where the lowest cost wins; 25th in lightness; 33rd in construction speed; and 31st for structural economy, which is a measure of the construction cost of the bridge.

The University of Florida won the competition

Dr. Shane Palmquist, steel bridge team advisor, said: “The students, using the knowledge gained from last year’s trip to the national competition and engineering coursework taken at WKU, designed and constructed an innovative truss bridge structure. The team was truly dedicated and unified, practicing hard right up to and during the national competition. I am extremely proud of them and their accomplishment.”

Steel bridge team members include: tri-captains Kyle Parks of Bloomfield, Justin Hopkins of Russellville and Dalton Hankins of Greenville; Sarah Hay of Louisa; Lindsey Gadberry Phelps of Somerset; Ben Mullins of Waynesburg; Allyson Alvey of Paducah; Raymond Van Zee of Russellville; Ashane Netthisinghe of Bowling Green; Khaled Alammar of Kuwait City, Kuwait; C. Jeremiah Short of Greenville; and Blake Adams of Monticello.

The 2016 National Steel Bridge Competition will be held on May 27-28 at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Shown in the photo, from left: Allyson Alvey, Sarah Hay, Lindsey Gadberry Phelps, Dalton Hankins, Justin Hopkins, Ben Mullins, Blake Adams, Kyle Parks, Raymond Van Zee, C. Jeremiah Short, Khaled Alammar, Ashane Netthisinghe and Dr. Shane Palmquist , faculty advisor. The students who constructed the bridge during the national competition are wearing WKU hardhats.



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