Steel Bridge Virtual Learning

It’s Back to (Virtual) School Time with Free Steel Bridge Education!

The summer has ended, the kids are back in school (sort of), and companies are looking ahead to the final quarter of the year. While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we conduct everyday business, in some ways it has made us more efficient.

Take, for example, the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA). Over the past months, we’ve channeled our time and energy into expanding online educational opportunities for bridge professionals, students, and faculty members. The resources are offered for free, are available to more people, and have received “A” grades from participants. Check these out:

“Accelerated Bridge Construction Showcase” Webinar
This one-hour webinar was part of United for Infrastructure Week, an annual event that calls national attention to the need to replace the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Dr. Michael Barker provided an educational overview of the many different accelerated steel bridge solutions offered by SSSBA members. Watch the webinar here.

Shelter-in-Place Webinar Series on Cost-Effective Steel Bridges
This seven-part series features a distinguished panel of industry experts addressing topics essential to the design and installation of short span steel bridges. Watch all 7 webinars here.

Online Student Lecture Series – From Concept to Delivery
Offered primarily for students and faculty, this six-part series of online lectures from the University of Wyoming covers the various aspects of designing, fabricating, and constructing steel bridges. The series is taught by Dr. Michael Barker, who has over 30 years of experience in bridge design and construction. All participants who successfully complete the lectures and pass the quizzes receive a Certificate of Completion from the University of Wyoming, a great tool for building resumes. The next live series will be offered in early 2021, but you can learn more about the program and review the course syllabus – and get on the list to receive early notification of the next lecture series (send email to

Website Resources
The redesigned SSSBA website,, offers several free and helpful resources:

  • Education Section – Browse through steel bridge basics, outreach to students as well as available scholarships and internships, and educational resources and events for bridge professionals. Some of the technical topics covered include fabrication details, fatigue, limit states and LRFD bridge design.
  • Resources SectionFind the recently updated free bridge design tool eSPAN140 and research reports on innovative bridge technology.
  • Project Assistance – Get free individualized assistance on new and existing short span steel bridge projects.
  • Find a SupplierSort through a complete detailed online listing of the products and services offered by suppliers who specialize in short span steel bridge projects. You’ll find over 60 different organizations and companies representing fabricators, steel producers, coaters, fasteners, bridge owners, deck and substructure companies, service centers, consultants, design firms and steel-related associations.
  • An events calendar to stay informed about new educational opportunities.

In-Person Events
When in-person events are once again permitted, these sessions are recommended and have received great feedback from past participants:

  • Free half-day or full-day customized workshops for counties, DOTs and design firms through the Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance – learn more.
  • Free full-day Steel Bridge Forums scheduled through the National Steel Bridge Alliance – learn more.

These are just a few examples of what we’ve been up to. View our website to learn more.

So while your usual workday schedule may be in flux, the opportunity to learn more and advance your career – or academic pursuits – has grown. It’s time to hit the (virtual) books. Take advantage of these SSSBA virtual learning opportunities and let us know what you think.

Related Resources: Events

NSBA Webinar

The Science and Art of FEA Modeling

This webinar will explore some of the frequent modeling issues encountered when creating FEA models of steel bridges.

Galvanize It

January 27: Free Webinar – Hot-Dip Galvanized Steel and Sustainable Development

The American Galvanizers Association invites you to attend a 1-hour webinar on hot-dip galvanized steel and sustainable development.

Student Steel Bridge Lecture Series

February 23-March 11, 2021: Free Steel Bridge Student Lecture Series

Three-week online series offered in February/March will help build knowledge and resumes.