Lehigh Mountain Hawks Steel Bridge Project

Our steel bridge team competes in a regional competition where we must design a steel bridge based on confined requirements. Then the team must fabricate and construct the final project. The project includes a chance to cut, grind, drill, and weld steel.

Who are we you ask...? Let us tell you...


Dan McLaughlin (President)
- Undergrad junior studying civil engineering. Natural born leader. Pretty good at it you ask me, but I prefer you ask my team... I'm a hands on type...I really enjoy the fabrication process of the project and am not afraid to get my hands dirty. Welding was my thing last year and can't wait to learn how to TIG weld (we used MIG). I've got a lot of great ideas to get everyone involved and can't wait to see how we do as a team this year. It'll be fun...that's a promise!

Ralph Missimer (Vice President)- 5th year dual degree student studying civil engineering and architecture. Visionary. Man of the people. Token funny guy. I plan on a career in structural engineering, hopefully starting next year. I want to help keep our team organized and make sure that we can give our best showing ever at the competition this year. I aim to help Dan get everyone up and fabricating frequently because a bridge is only as good as you can build it. I also plan to help Anthony get a couple of construction crews going to make sure we can build the bridge faster than any other team out there (*cough* Lafayette). Come support our team!


Anthony Wheeler (Design Master)
- M.Eng. student studying structural engineering. Master Bridge designer and Awesome AutoCADer. I come from the University of Akron, where our steel bridge has placed high in nationals and I'm planning on going there again. Dan and I will be working closely together to achieve this goal and to make Lehigh a nationally competitive team. I have always been fascinated with cable stayed bridges and plan on designing them one day.

Also on the team but not pictured:

What we've been up to...

Sat 9/2/11
Today was the first meeting of minds for steel bridge. Anthony, Ralph, and I decided to win this year...yep that's our goal....oh and btw to all other schools out there, especially you Lafayette, I don't mean win our division, I mean win at nationals (top 10 at least)...don't  underestimate us this year... I dare you......New Leadership=New Direction
We also got ourselves organized by assigning captains to be in charge of certain aspects of the team. Our public relation gurus Mallory Nigro and Carley Miller are in charge of raising funds and awareness to support our team. Dave Crowley is going to be our in-house lawyer who will make sure we are in compliance with all the rules throughout the entire design and building process. Anthony Wheeler will be the design master and Ralph will head the construction phase of the project. I will lead the fabrication process on top of making sure everything is moving forward.  -Dan McL

Tues 9/13/11
First Steel Bridge Team meeting with the group. I gave a small slide show presentation and I think it went well. A lot of people seemed interested; I think it was mainly due to the free pizza but whatever...it doesn't hurt my ego. Not surprisingly there is a considerable amount of interest in the fabrication of the bridge, aka cutting, grinding, and welding. Hoping to get some more design help but I'm confident in Anthony's and my ability to design a winning bridge...more updates on the way. -Dan McL

Wed 9/14/11
Began designing in SAP today. Hoping to get people interested into the design of the bridge. Anthony and I will be here in the M.Eng comp lab everyday at 7 pm for the first two weeks. We've set up an Excel spread sheet to calculate the data from SAP so we can compare numbers to see who makes the better bridge... it's on!! -Dan McL

Sun 9/18/11
Design went really well this week. Anthony spent 25+ hours on it; it helps when he's in the M.Eng lab all day doing whatever grad students do. I, however, put in a solid 15+ hours. Anthony's design has the upper hand on the small competition we're having but, don't worry, I'm still in it.  -Dan McL

Mon 9/19/11
This is the first day we start bringing people up to ATLSS to begin learning how to TIG weld. Joe the technician was kind enough to help us out...shout out to Joe!

More design work in SAP today...my numbers are catching up to Anthony's...but he's still winning...working on it though!

-Dan McL
Text Box: Andrew Hanson practicing his TIG welding skills.

Tues 9/20/11
Anthony, Colette, and I were in the M.Eng. comp lab doing some SAP work on the design. Still competing with Anthony for the better design...it's not look good for me....these rules make it frustrating...-Dan McL

Thurs 9/22/11
Anthony and I started transferring our design from SAP into AutoCAD and extruding 3-D pieces. Long, tedious work and after a few hours we finished the back span (or so we thought) and began sectioning out the cantilever. Running into some trouble designing it out to make construction time more economical. It's all about efficiency, baby. Anyway, got too frustrated after 4 hours. Heading to Molly's to have a good time...it's almost the weekend! -Dan McL

Friday 9/23/11
Anthony, Ralph, and I crawled to the dean on our hands and knees and knees and hands in the hopeful attempt to acquire funds...still broke.
No design work today... we need to step away for a few days so we can get fresh eyes on it.
-Dan McL

Tues 9/27/11
Anthony and I put in another late night at the M.Eng. lab trimming fat off the design while maintaining an acceptable amount of strength. Design is 97% complete. Just need to tweak size of pieces so they fit into the box parameters.....almost there!!! -Dan McL

Wed 10/12/11
Over the past few weeks we have been practicing our welding skills. We're improving a lot quicker than I expected, so I decided to have them build a stool. I'll build and draw up a set of AutoCAD shop drawing for them and let them at it. It won't be too difficult but it will incorporate all the important and necessary steps that will transfer over to building the bridge, such as cutting angles, spot welding pieces as to prevent bending in the pieces when they are heated, and welding in hard to reach places. It should be fun and constructive. -Dan McL

Tues 10/18/11
Today we finished the shop drawings and construction of the template stool with the help of Andrew ______. It looks good. We used the steel from last year's bridge and grinded off the old paint where we needed to weld. We'll add a good coat of metal primer then we'll cut a seat out of 3/4" plywood and it'll be done. -Dan McL

Tues 11/1/11
Anthony Wheeler is finishing up our shop drawings for the bridge. We are almost there! He has a few more pieces to dimension out then its done. I have been in contact with the mechanical engineering department's water jet cutter and it looks like they will be able to cut our connection pieces for us. We're trying to work out a deal to get it done at a discounted price but just in case we have been in contact with other companies so we can compare prices.