SUNY Canton Places Second in 2019 Regional Student Steel Bridge Competition

Students from SUNY Canton designed and built a better bridge than six other colleges in the 2019 American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Upstate New York Regional Competition. The event was held April 18 through 20 at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). 

The college’s Steel Bridge Team was only topped by the University of Buffalo, securing a strong second place win for SUNY Canton and seeding the team to compete at the AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition National Finals beginning May 31 at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

2019 Steel Bridge Team poses with their bridge at RIT.

The team finished ahead of Clarkson University, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cornell University, RIT, and the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“Our students were presented with a challenging life-like scenario that allowed them to implement what they’ve learned in their studies,” said Paul D. Hitchman, a faculty adviser for the student-run team. “In the initial phases, students must weigh the value of each criteria to design the strongest, most-economical structure.”

SUNY Canton scored first place in stiffness, which is calculated by placing 2,500 pounds on the bridge and measuring how much the rigid structure deflects. The team placed second in construction speed, second in economy, second in efficiency, third in lightness and fourth in aesthetics. 

In addition to building a bridge, each team is required to explain why they chose their individual design. Presentations are performed before a panel of judges consisting of civil engineers, instructors and an audience of approximately 100 students from competing universities.

Students on the 2019 Steel Bridge Team are: 

  • Chase D. Boyer, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Alex Bay.
  • Alexis M. Carreau, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Hoosick Falls.
  • Andrew Chapin, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Norwood.
  • Kimberly Collins, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major from Saranac Lake.
  • John C. Drews IV, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Sound Beach.
  • Daniel C. Gagnon, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major from Rensselaer Falls.
  • Josh Glosenger, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Endicott.
  • Dale R. Harris, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Dundee.
  • Forest B. Hathaway, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Newton Falls.
  • Jake LeVea, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Fulton.
  • Kyle Lorey, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major from Corning.
  • Sara M. O’Duffy, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major from Lakeville.
  • Daniel Olin, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Canton.
  • Jocelyn Racette, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Port Kent.
  • Stephen J. Schermerhorn, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Cicero.
  • Bromlen E. Steinburg, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Madrid.
  • Benjamin York, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major from Auburn.

The Steel Bridge Team is a point of pride at SUNY Canton and garners support from many faculty and staff members. Hitchman is joined by faculty members Joseph Reilly, Andrew Reiter and Yilei Shi as advisers for the successful student group. Dennis Tuper, an instructional support associate in the Automotive Technology program, is a precision welder. “Dennis is instrumental in guiding the students through the fabrication of their design,” Hitchman said. 

The team received a substantial donation from 1991 alumnus Michael J. Janssen, who is a professional engineer and the Las Vegas director of public works. The Canton College Foundation and the SUNY Canton’s President’s Office also support the Steel Bridge Team. 

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 digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading. 

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