Club Hopping: Steel Bridge Team

The award-winning bridge-building team gives members real-world experience.

illustration of students building a bridge by Joel Kimmel

 

Founded: Early 1980s

Current membership: 12–15

Mission: To skillfully design and rapidly construct a real-world-adaptable bridge, evaluated across weight, deflection, construction speed, and aesthetics, for annual regional competitions.

 

The Penn State Steel Bridge Team spends most of the year designing and building a 24-by-3-foot bridge, which club members will then replicate, as best they can, in regional competitions. At last year’s competition in Harrisburg, the team won awards for lightest bridge, fastest construction, and construction economy. Veteran club members spend the year helping newcomers learn the various steps of the process. “It’s real-world-applicable design that you can do in college,” says president Michael Price.