Posted on April 29, 2021 by Rory Dew

A team of UTSA engineering students recently placed second in the Texas Region of the American Institute of Steel Construction’s (AISC) Student Steel Bridge Competition . Eight Roadrunners competed, including Trinity Schaefer (Civil Engineering), Elizabeth De Leon (Civil Engineering), Evan Batton (Civil Engineering), Alexandra Sanabria (Civil Engineering), America Martinez (Civil Engineering) Daniel Vogel (Civil Engineering), Dinesh Bhatt (Civil Engineering) and Joshua Lazaro (Statistics and Data Science).

The AISC Steel Bridge Competition requires teams to fabricate and efficiently construct a scale-model steel bridge. The bridges are then load tested to ensure they can support at least 2,500 pounds. Aesthetic form of the bridge is also considered in the judging criteria. Watch the UTSA team build .

UTSA has a history of strong performances, having qualified for national competition in each of the previous four years. This year’s COVID-adjusted format saw a diminished field, meaning the second place finish unfortunately did not qualify UTSA for entrance in the national championship.

“In a year filled with so many challenges, seeing our bridge come together was a triumph in itself… I could not be more proud of this team,” remarked team captain Trinity Schaefer. “The College of Engineering is designed to not only teach us the technical aspects of our field, but also the critical thinking skills needed to apply those ideas. These skills are integral to the Steel Bridge Competition and the success of our team, as we overcome challenges in both the design and fabrication processes.”

UTSA’s Engineering programs emphasize the importance of experiential learning—the hands-on, experience-based application of knowledge acquired in the classroom. Participation in this competition is one of the many avenues offered for students to sharpen their skills and broaden their knowledge while working as a team to achieve goals.

Schaefer offered this advice to current and future students considering getting involved; “to find an extracurricular that teaches you soft skills pertaining to your future career, that is exciting and can bring joy to your life is phenomenal. If you find at least one organization that functions as both a resume builder and an outlet, you will set yourself up for success!”

Learn more about student organizations affiliated with UTSA’s College of Engineering .

— Rory Dew