Virtual infrastructure design competition for students

A virtual infrastructure design competition for students is being run by AASHTO and Bentley Systems.
April 26, 2021 1 minute Read
By MJ Woof
AASHTO is scheduling its National Bridge and Structure TRAC Contest as a virtual event April 28th - image courtesy © of Bentley Systems
Bentley Systems and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) are presenting the virtual Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) contest for school students on April 28. The annual contest was originally scheduled for AASHTO’s spring meeting. However, the organisers re-invented the competition as the AASHTO Virtual TRAC Showcase as a result of COVID-19 pandemic’s social-distancing restrictions.
Co-sponsored by Bentley, the AASHTO National Bridge and Structure TRAC Challenge includes students from seventh to 12th grades who have designed innovative projects using Bentley applications. Also sponsoring the event are TopoDOT, HDR, and HNTB. This year, 33 teams submitted projects, and the finalist teams are presenting in the online forum. This platform provides an opportunity to recognise students for their hard work, allowing them to virtually present their projects and demonstrate how they designed the bridges, as well as how they built models of their designs with balsawood.
Francois Valois, Bentley’s vice president for civil engineering, said, “The role of civil engineers is critical to transportation infrastructure. The hands-on experience of the TRAC program introduces students to civil engineering concepts and processes, inspiring them to imagine a future career in engineering. I’m proud that AASHTO, Bentley, the other sponsors, and the DOTs came together to provide this opportunity for the students to present their projects virtually and get the recognition that they deserve.”
Julia Smith, AASHTO TRAC program manager, said AASHTO designed the program for use in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) classes to introduce students to transportation and civil engineering. “America’s transportation industry has a huge demand for well-qualified civil engineers. TRAC’s goal is to get middle and high school students exposed to and excited about a career in civil engineering. We see TRAC as an investment in today’s youth, to ensure that America has the highly skilled workforce it’s going to need for years to come.”

Other firms involved in sponsoring the event include HDR, HNTB and TopoDOT.
National TRAC Bridge Challenge –
For more information on companies in this article