The UC San Diego Steel Bridge team needs your support to travel to Blacksburg, Virginia to compete at the National Finals of the Student Steel Bridge Competition from May 27-28, 2022.
Our team has exceeded all expectations this year. Last September, the outlook was bleak: after a 2-year pandemic hiatus, no one knew how to weld, we had nowhere to fabricate, and no one on the team had ever built a bridge before. But through brutal and brutally fun 40+ hour weeks, we have built Bridget, our beloved 21-foot pink-colored monster of a bridge, and we have developed hands-on engineering and metalworking skills that will last our lifetimes.
Last weekend, we won the Pacific Southwest regional competition, building our bridge in 10 minutes and 40 seconds with a deflection of just .5" under the weight of a Toyota Corolla. This win earned us a spot to compete at nationals.
We are not resting. In the coming weeks, we are running another round of analysis, optimization, and fabrication. We are also conducting a modal analysis of our bridge using accelerometers to measure vibration and an impact hammer in order to experimentally determine modal properties and stiffness. Our goals are to reduce deflection from .5" to .35", and drop construction time below 7 minutes. We are not just going to Nationals to compete - we are going to bring home the win for UC San Diego!
We need your help. The trip to Virginia Tech is expensive, totaling $16,000. The exact breakdown of the cost of the trip is on the next page. We are a 501c3 nonprofit, so donations are tax-deductible. We appreciate any help you can provide; every dollar we get is important to the team.
Saul Chaplin, EIT
Structural Engineering, B.S., UCSD Class of 2023
Project Manager, UC San Diego Steel Bridge Team
Applying a "live load" to our beloved Bridget after our win! From Left: James Zhao, Wendy Miao, Hairu (Maggie) Wang, Saul Chaplin, Jenny Ruiz, Saul Lopez, Rebecca Baumann, Leeor Tito, Richard Tang, Professor Machel Morrison
Our 21-ft long Bridget, optimized to take 19 times her self weight and deflects just 0.5 inches
Options to Donate
There are two options to donate. You can donate through Go Fund Me
You can also write a check to the Society of Civil and Structural Engineers with "Steel Bridge Donation" in the memo. See blank check below. Mail the check to:
3425 Lebon Drive Apt. #533,
San Diego, CA 92122
Once you make your donation, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will send you our W9 form and EIN.
Follow the team Instagram to stay up to date with all team announcements!
UC San Diego’s Steel Bridge team competes every year in the National Student Steel Bridge Competition hosted by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The competition challenges students to design, fabricate, and construct a scaled model bridge that stays competitive in lightweightness, stiffness, and construction speed.
The bridge must be stiff and strong enough to pass vertical and lateral load tests, while being lightweight and easy to construct quickly. During fall quarter, team members apply the knowledge learned in class and from experienced students to design the bridge using AutoCAD, SAP2000, and SolidWorks. During winter quarter, team members fabricate the bridge. Once fabrication is complete, a construction team practices constructing the bridge in a minimal construction time.
The team competes against 13 other schools in the Pacific Southwest Symposium (PSWS). At PSWS, each team is judged in various categories: aesthetics, weight, timed construction, and other categories. The top teams move on to the national competition where they compete against the other regional winners.
Steel Bridge Fabrication sessions are happening winter quarter 2022! Sessions are open to any student looking to get hands on fabrication experience. Meetings occur at High Bay Physics Laboratory.
Monday 9-12 AM
Tuesday 2-4 PM
Wednesday 9-12 AM
2021-2022 Steel Bridge Leads: