Steel bridge competition holds its weight

Steel bridge competition holds its weight

Posted: Updated:
Travis Nishino Travis Nishino
Eric Tomishima Eric Tomishima

By Tracy Gladden - bio | email

MANOA (KHNL) - More than 800 college engineering students are in the islands this weekend for a series of design competitions. If you ask them to build it, they will come. Steel bridges pop up at the University of Hawaii at Manoa as civil engineering students from schools in the southwest compete for a chance to go to nationals.

"Students are asked to fabricate, design, and build a bridge that's able to hold 2,000 pounds," competition coordinator Travis Nishino said.

"Every school has their own little secret that they have," UH engineering student Eric Tomishima says, "our design actually takes less pieces and it's faster to put together."

And fast is good in this competition. "It's judged on aesthetics, construction speed, strength, stiffness," Nishino said.

Cheering supporters watch as teams build their bridges and load on 2-thousand pounds of steel bars. "Competition here is really good we have a lot of the Southern California schools they are always bringing out really good bridges were excited to see how they are doing but we think we have a fighting chance," UH engineering student Lori Higashi said.

This University of Hawaii at Manoa student says the year leading up to the competition has been filled with lessons. "Welding is hard and it's very good to be precise when you are putting together a things with steel, 1/8 of an inch can make the biggest difference," Higashi said.

Professional engineers serve as judges with the results announced at the end of the competition.

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