William and Linda Eckhoff Bridge Program Fund

This fund was established by William and Linda Eckhoff in 1999 to support the Steel Bridge Program in civil engineering.

William founded Central Bridge Company in Columbia, MO and Gulf Coast Developers in 1998. During his career in the construction business, he amassed 10 companies. When he retired, William sold all the companies and moved to Punta Gorda.

William and Linda have eight children.

About the UF Eckhoff Steel Bridge Team:

2022 TeamSince 1992, the University of Florida has competed with 150 other universities for the national title. In the past 30 years of competition, our team has made 23 national competition appearances, including 20 top ten finishes and four national championships.

Design: The team spends over 1,000 hours each season designing thousands of different bridge models. Six different models, each with multiple iterations, are tested before finalizing the competition design. Several optimization tools are used throughout the design process including AutoCAD, genetic algorithms, and structural analysis / finite element analysis programs such as Solidworks and Visual Analysis.

Fabrication: A team of over 20 students gain valuable hands-on experience, dedicating close to 2,000 hours on the fabrication of the bridge. The entire fabrication of the bridge is completed at the University of Florida, where students learn to precisely cut, mill, and weld steel sections.

Assembly: Prior to the regional and national steel bridge competitions, the team dedicates more than 500 hours to practicing the assembly of the bridge. Based on the concept of Accelerated Bridge Construction, the team determines the fastest and most efficient way to put the bridge together.

The Competition:

Each year, the American Institute of Steel Construction invites students to put their classroom knowledge to the test in an annual Student Steel Bridge Competition. From conception and design to fabrication and construction, students are given the unique opportunity to take part in a project from start to finish.

The final product, a 20-foot long steel bridge, must be able to support 2,500 pounds of vertical load and be assembled quickly in timed competition. The team is scored in two main categories: construction economy and structural efficiency, which together give a team its aggregate score. As with a real-world construction application, teams must maximize efficiency by taking careful consideration into weight, deflection, and construction time, all of which contribute to an overall cost. The team with the lowest overall cost wins the competition.

In the past 28 years of competition, the University of Florida Team has continuously demonstrated its ability to optimize steel bridge structures with 23 national competition appearances, 20 top-ten finishes, and 4 national championships. It is with the same pride and dedication which we aim to build upon our team’s legacy.

Contact and Sponsorship Levels:

$5000 – Steel (Limited one/year; please inquire)

$2500 – Gold

$1000 – Orange

$500 – Blue



Please contact ufasce.steelbridge@gmail.com for more information regarding sponsorship levels.

You can find more information and follow the team on social media:

Website: https://www.ufsteelbridge.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ufsteelbridge/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uf_steelbridge/

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