SUNY Canton’s ASCE Steel Bridge Team Takes 5th at National Competition

Steel Bridge Team

BRIDGING THE GAP – Daniel Fredendall, a SUNY Canton Civil Engineering Technology student from Holley, rapidly assembles the steel bridge with his teammates during a practice session at SUNY Canton. The ASCE Steel Bridge Team took fifth place at the recent national competition.

The SUNY Canton American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Steel Bridge Team won fifth place out of the more than 40 colleges and universities at the 2008 National Student Steel Bridge Competition, held May 23 and 24 at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

“The SUNY Canton team performed admirably and left many larger universities wondering what hit them,” noted Paul D. Hitchman, an ASCE Steel Bridge Team Advisor and a SUNY Canton faculty member. “They didn’t make any mistakes and didn’t pick up any penalties.”

The students took first place in construction speed category with a total build speed of 3 minutes 23 seconds. Each of the top five universities assembled their bridges in less than 5 minutes. “Speed is critical at this level,” Hitchman said. “Berkley would have won on time, but they picked up a 15 second penalty for dropping a bolt.”

Before the national competition, SUNY Canton took home the conference title at the Upstate New York ASCE Student Conference. Regionally, SUNY Canton has been the team to beat and has swept up 12 wins in 14 years.


Watch the Bridge Team video

The top five colleges in order of finish were: University of California, Berkley, University of Florida, University of California, Davis, North Dakota State University, and SUNY Canton.

The SUNY Canton Team also nabbed first place in economy, meaning their bridge was the most inexpensive solution to the highly-complex challenge issued by the ASCE and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). The team also placed 15th in efficiency, 18th in lightness, and 23rd in attractiveness.

Students prepare for the annual competition for two semesters. They create new bridge designs and computer-generated renderings each Fall in preparation for the spring competitions. This year’s bridge had to satisfy extensive rules outlined by the AISC and the ASCE and was designed as a replacement bridge over a rural river. Students compute and analyze the structural integrity and engineer the bridge to be erected as fast as possible.

The ASCE Student Steel Bridge Team receives financial support from a variety of individual sponsors and the SUNY Canton Foundation. The team’s uniforms and the steel for the bridge are provided by Jeffords Steel and Engineering in Potsdam. “We’d like thank all of our alumni and corporate supporters and all of the people at the college and in the community who contribute to our success,” Hitchman said.

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 65 courses online each semester. The college’s athletic teams have joined the NAIA’s Sunrise Conference, enabling students to compete in their respective sports for four years.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

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