Regional Student Steel Bridge Competition Starts Friday at SUNY Canton’s Roos House

SUNY Canton students will have home turf advantage while trying to build their bridge better and faster than their regional competition.

SUNY Canton and Clarkson University are cohosting the three-day American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Upstate New York Student Conference, featuring the Upstate Regional Student Steel Bridge Competition.

Steel Bridge Team

SUNY Canton ASCE Chapter members Briana K. Fosher of Rouses Point, Mike J. Muller, Jr., of Canton, and William W. Corbine of Potsdam, assemble their team’s steel bridge during a practice run.

SUNY Canton’s ASCE student chapter has traditionally dominated the competition by annually planning, designing, and building a bridge that is stronger and more efficient than all of the other colleges and universities in the Northeast. The steel bridge portion of the conference begins at 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 20, at SUNY Canton’s Roos House Athletic Center Ice Rink.

“This is the first time we’ve ever hosted an ASCE conference at SUNY Canton,” said Paul D. Hitchman, one of the faculty advisors for the student steel bridge club. “Our new Roos House building will provide a great venue for the event.”

The competition portions of the conference are free and open to the public, and the bridge team anticipates many fans and onlookers at the event.

“This year’s challenge is to build a cantilever bridge from a man-made dam,” said SUNY Canton ASCE student chapter president Daniel R. Jones of Canton. “Our bridge is very different and more complicated than in previous years, but we’ve been practicing extensively.”

The SUNY Canton steel bridge team has won the regional championships a remarkable 12 times in 16 years and accrued a national championship title in 2009. Other colleges and universities competing include the University at Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology, Cornell University, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Ecole de Technologie Superieure, Hudson Valley Community College, and Clarkson University.

“We begin designing and planning for this competition on the first day of the fall semester, or almost eight months in advance,” said ASCE student chapter vice president and bridge designer William W. Corbine of Potsdam. “I like to think we have an advantage over other larger schools in the competition because we build our bridge on-site and then practice until we can build it fast and efficiently.”

Corbine and Jones are both seniors in SUNY Canton’s civil and environmental technology program.

The SUNY Canton Alumni office is hosting a reception for former team members and other graduates who want to be involved with the regional conference. The special RSVP only event will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, April 20, in the mezzanine area overlooking the ice rink.

The mission of the Student Steel Bridge Competition is to supplement the education of students in the technology and engineering fields, with a student-driven project. Students oversee all aspects of the fabrication, assembly, and testing of their one-tenth scale model bridge to maximize performance and economy as a way to best apply their comprehensive engineering aptitude.

For a complete schedule of events in the competition, which includes an awards banquet for participating teams, and a concrete canoe race at Norwood Pond, please visit:

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Manager, or call 315/386-7527.

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