Steel Bridge Team takes first place at regionals

From left to right, Dr. Sam Salem (Steel bridge team academic advisor), Thomas Gobeil, Curtis Moss, Nick Wegher, Chris Legg, Brad McDonald, Brad DesRochers and Conrad Hagstrom (Civil Engineering Labs Manager).

March 31, 2016 – Thunder Bay, ON 

Lakehead University’s Steel Bridge Team has done it again.

For the third year in a row, the five-member Lakehead team of Civil Engineering students placed first at the AISC/ASCE Regional Qualifier Student Steel Bridge Competition.

This means the team will head to the National Steel Bridge Competition in May.

“This competition allowed our team to finally display their hard work to the public – and we were there to impress,” said Chris Legg, the Steel Bridge Team Captain. “Everyone watching the competition was interested to see what Lakehead brought this year to defend the championship streak.”

Lakehead’s team placed first in construction speed, first for structural efficiency, first in construction economy, and first in lightness, for an overall first-place finish.

“Now that we have qualified for the National competition, there is a lot more work to be done. We are looking forward to the challenge,” Legg said.

Lakehead's team is composed of Chris Legg, Brad McDonald, Brad DesRochers, Nick Wegher, and Curtis Moss, with faculty advisor Dr. Sam Salem, and technologist support from Conrad Hagstrom and Kailash Bhatia.

“Now that we have qualified for the National competition, there is a lot more work to be done. We are looking forward to the challenge,” Legg said.

Lakehead competed against 10 university steel bridge teams from North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin on March 12.

“Our Steel Bridge Team performed extremely well before and during the competition. I am very proud of the team members’ hard work, solidarity, and enthusiasm,” said Dr. Sam Salem, Steel Bridge Team Academic Advisor.

To top it off, Lakehead also took second place in the technical paper competition. The technical paper was written by Abel Raath and presented by Andrew Olesen. The competition was held March 12 at Minnesota State University in Mankato.

All first and second-place teams move on to the US National Steel Bridge Competition. Approximately 50 teams will compete at the 2016 National Competition at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, on May 27 and 28.

This is the 16th time the Lakehead team has moved on to the national competition in the last 17 years.


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Lakehead University has about 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies.

Maclean’s 2016 University Rankings place Lakehead University second in Ontario and among Canada’s Top 10 undergraduate universities, and first among Ontario’s undergraduate universities for Total Research Dollars, Social Sciences & Humanities Grants, and Library Expenses. In 2015,Re$earch Infosource ranked Lakehead first among Canada’s undergraduate universities.