Like Coaching A Basketball Team

Steel Bridge team leader Chris Ferguson has managed this group with a deft touch. Not only did he keep the team focused on their goals for the past 6-7 months, been the driving force behind many nights of assembly rehearsal, but he’s even covered the little details.
Chris booked a study room in the Nebraska-Lincoln Engineering Library so that his teammates would have a quiet place to take calculus and Diffy-Q exams. It’s that kind of “taking care of the troops” that is the hallmark of a good leader!
Did he actually assemble today’s bridge? No, but he did prowl the sidelines like a Division 1 basketball coach, shouting encouragement, calling “plays”, and making sure the build crew didn’t miss any small details.
S&T drew a lot of applause by posting the fastest assembly time, but later teams who had less complex bridges did manage to pull ahead of the Miners. Hats off to Mizzou for hitting an amazing 15+ minutes score, which we think was the fastest time of the day.
Chris reports S&T also had the lightest bridge at the event, which counts for some points, but en route to the loading station things went awry. Seems the bridge is a great design for supporting loads, but not so good at being lifted to move. During the move outside one of the bridge piers came partly undone, nothing a rubber mallet wouldn’t fix, but rules prohibit any “repairs” once the structures are complete.
S&T’s entry sailed through the lateral and offset tests, and barely broke a sweat when most of the steel bars were added to the bridge. But when it came time to add a smaller load “cantilever-style”, that mis-aligned bridge pier became an issue and the team lost its strong position in the standings.
There’s still a decent chance that other performance factors will put the Miners back in a strong position, and maybe even qualify for the national event. S&T has a light, good looking bridge, and the betting is that some of the simpler bridges just won’t be able to support much weight.
So it’s still anybody’s game.


  1. Jason Murphey says

    Great job guys! Congratulations on making it through regionals and I can’t wait to hear if you made it to nationals.
    Jason Murphey