Eleven teams of students from universities across the United States matched wits in the recently completed 2014 National Timber Bridge Design Competition. Open to student chapters of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Forest Products Society (FPS), the competition is sponsored by Bell Structural Solutions, a division of Bell Lumber & Pole Company (www.bipole.com), Minneosta. Southwest Mississippi Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D), Inc., coordinates the annual competition.
Each team designed, constructed, and tested their bridges on their home campus, then submitted documentation of their activities and results to a panel of judges for review. The competition is conducted online via the Internet. Each team is required to post design drawings, test results, and project highlights on the web.
The competition's objectives are to promote interest in the use of wood as a competitive bridge construction material, to generate innovative and cost-effective timber bridge design techniques, and to develop an appreciation of the engineering capabilities of wood among future transportation and forest products engineers.