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UI engineering students win bridge competition

MOSCOW – University of Idaho's civil engineering students took honors at the April 1-3 American Society of Civil Engineers PNW Regional Student Conference at Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls.

The 10 students on UI's steel bridge team took first place, qualifying them for national competition May 28-29 in Golden, Colo. They had the lowest construction time: four minutes and 20 seconds; the highest structural efficiency; the lightest weight at 144 pounds; and were the most economical, according to their faculty adviser Ed Schmeckpeper.
Each bridge at the competition was loaded with 2,500 extra pounds to test its structural strength, he added. Two bridges collapsed during the load test. Second place went to Oregon Institute of Technology.

The UI surveying team also took second place in its competition, said Roger Ferguson, the team's adviser. Oregon Institute of Technology edged it out for first. "It all came down to not marking the north arrow on their plat in the rush to meet deadline," said Ferguson. "The UI team did everything else very well - measured angles and distances, took elevations to determine the grade line for a proposed sidewalk, and measured horizontal and vertical angles to determine the height of a distant object."

Valkyrie, this year's Vandal Concrete Canoe, "had a rebuilding year," said Schmeckpeper. It placed 10th in its competition, which was won by Montana State University's team.

Despite the "weighty" concrete canoe, UI's team won third in overall performance at the regional event attended by 17 university teams. Participating UI students from Idaho were:

BOISE–Jesse Drennen, David Sansotta
CRAIGMONT–Amy Stillman
IDAHO FALLS–Rachel Chipman
MOSCOW–Mitch Berg, Tony Loeser, Esther Miramontes
OROFINO–Gary Ausman
SHELLEY–Leah Kelsey, Guillermo Madrigal
ST. MARIES–Jocelyn Dickie, Sean Lecoultre
Other states:
IMBLER–Derek Howard
OAKESDALE–Ryan Zimmerman
SPOKANE–Chris McCallum
TOUCHET–Beau Gosney
CAMAS–Geoffrey Walters

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