The SUNY Canton American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Steel Bridge Team hit it big in Vegas and built a better bridge than any other college in the nation.
The team won the 2009 National Student Steel Bridge Competition held Memorial Day Weekend at the University of Las Vegas.
“Good bridge design is determined by the correct balance between several factors,” said Paul D. Hitchman, an ASCE Steel Bridge Team Advisor and SUNY Canton faculty member. “The Canton team got the balance just right.
The team is judged on six categories that lead to a total aggregate score. SUNY Canton’s team placed 1st in speed, 3rd in economy, 10th in deflection, 14th in weight, 10th in efficiency, and 27th in aesthetics.
“It was a very close competition,” said Robert R. Blickwedehl, an ASCE Steel Bridge Team advisor and Civil Engineering faculty member Robert. “They won by less than one second and less than one pound.”
Faculty members said that the team practiced strenuously until to reduce the total assembly time down to 3 minutes and one second. “Speed of construction was the teams’ strength and the design of the bridge capitalized on it,” Blickwedehl said.
Students prepare for the annual competition for two semesters. They create new bridge designs and computer-generated drawings annually in preparation for the competition. The bridge is designed to satisfy the extensive rules outlined by the American Institute of Steel Construction and the ASCE.
The Steel Bridge team is comprised entirely of students in SUNY Canton’s career-driven Civil Engineering Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology programs.
North Dakota State University won second in the competition and Lakehead University of Ontario, Canada, took third. SUNY Canton also beat out schools including RPI, Clarkson University, Clemson State, RIT, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Members of the ASCE Student Chapter at SUNY Canton include:
· Michael Bagalonis of Gouverneur
· Yong Ding of Sichuan, China
· Robert LeFevre of Morrisonville
· Jonathan Liberty of Pennellville
· Milton Skinner of Lacona
· Peter Martin of Saranac Lake
· Tyler Purdy of Stephentown
· Patrick Norton of Edmeston
· Kristine Williams of Ogdensburg
· Michael Woodruff of Vermontville
· Ying Yang of Sichuan, China
· Miao Zheng of Sichuan, China
SUNY Canton offers a wide variety of career-driven bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs, as well as three master’s degrees in conjunction with SUNYIT, Utica. Most of SUNY Canton’s new four-year programs are designed so students can take them on-campus, online, or both. SUNY Canton OnLine features more than 100 courses online each semester. The College offers a four-day academic week allowing students greater flexibility for work, family, or other obligations. The College’s athletic teams belong to the NAIA’s Sunrise Conference, enabling students to compete in their respective sports for four years.