SUNY Canton Students Take Second in Steel Bridge Competition

The SUNY Canton American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter won second place in the Upstate New York Regional Steel Bridge Competition held Friday, April 21 at Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome.

Based on their success, the SUNY Canton students have been invited to participate in the National Steel Bridge Competition held May 26 at Oregon State University.

Steel Bridge Team - Group Photo

“We were one of thirteen universities who competed,” noted Paul D. Hitchman, a faculty advisor for the ASCE Student Chapter. “In addition to building a bridge, each team gave two presentations. Our students performed admirably against much larger universities in all categories.”

The SUNY Canton team was topped by their longtime rival, ETS of Montreal, but finished ahead of Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Waterloo, Hudson Valley Community College, the United States Military Academy and Clarkson University, among others.

Steel Bridge Team constructing their bridge

The competition challenges students to design and build a bridge that can be put up faster and perform better than the other entries. Students begin planning for this competition during the fall semester. Once a design is settled, the bridge is then constructed entirely at SUNY Canton. During the competition, the students assemble it rapidly and then test it for strength among other criteria.

“We’ve learned a lot about leadership, time management, design, fabrication, communication and how to work as a team,” said ASCE Student Chapter President Alex Sterling. “Through the combined efforts of many students, faculty, and staff, SUNY Canton has created a bridge that rivals the best in the nation. We’ve been able to apply much of what we’ve learned along the way.”

Steel Bridge Team constructing their bridge

Sterling is one of 25 students involved with the Steel Bridge Team. Other members are Jonathan Abreu, Kristoff Adderley, Joseph Butera, Alexis Carreau, Kimberly Collins, Justin Donaldson, John Drews, Jessica Fischer, Daniel Gagnon, Nathanael Lalone Colin Law, Erdous Lebron, Ashley Livingston, Kyle Lorey, Sean Marciano, Steven Martz, Barandyk Nurdinova, Sarah Nuss, Tyler Odell, Dan Olin, Jocelyn Racette, Kevin Segit, Bromlen Steinburg, Alex Sterling and David Viruso.

They were assisted by Hitchman and Dennis E. Tuper, an instructional support associate in the Automotive Technology program. Numerous other faculty members in the Canino School of Engineering Technology are involved with the program. Eric S. Tessmer, owner of Riverside Iron, LLC in Gouverneur, sponsors the bridge. Tessmer is a 1991 alumnus who provided all of the steel for the build.

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service and recently received number one rankings in library resources, library services and tutoring services in the SUNY Student Opinion Survey. The college’s faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 13 exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The college’s 15 athletic teams compete as members of the NCAA Division III.

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