Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



The American Institute of Steel Construction hosts a competition for graduating college seniors each year. The competition is designing and fabricating a scaled steel bridge within certain parameters. Each year the parameters change to allow different seniors to face similar challenges without copying the previous year’s work. Before the outbreak of COVID-19, a bridge was fabricated as per the rules in the 2020, and the same bridge was used for the 2021 competition. With a bridge already fabricated and being used for the competition, a question arose about analyzing the bridge.

This thesis encompasses the entire analysis of the steel bridge completed by the honors student. The challenge of this project is due to the nature of the bridge being both a truss and a beam. This style of bridge does not have cookie cutter formulas to analyze the bridge, and approaches were made to analyze the bridge in all forms available. Multiple forms of analysis were used to analyze the bridge including hand calculations and a computer model. Different methods of hand calculations were used to verify the results of the computer model.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Shane Palmquist, Ph.D., PE


Civil Engineering | Mathematics