SUNY Canton Finishes Seventh in National Steel Bridge Competition

Students from SUNY Canton’s American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Chapter finished in a strong seventh place at the National Student Steel Bridge Competition held May 26 at Oregon State University.

Steel Bridge Team

“The SUNY Canton team performed flawlessly and we could not have wished for a better outcome,” said Paul D. Hitchman, a faculty advisor for the ASCE Student Chapter. “Our team competed against 43 prestigious universities, including the best teams that the United States, Canada, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico had to offer. We are calling this experience a solid win.”

The students designed and built a scale model steel bridge that fit within a complex set of rules determined by the competition organizers. The bridge is then assembled rapidly on site, evaluated in six different categories and measured against the other college’s entries. SUNY Canton finished within the top 10 in all but one category.

In the previous regional competition, SUNY Canton took second place and was topped only by ETS, a public engineering school in Montreal, Quebec. ETS went on to win the national competition.

“The competition was a great professional development and networking opportunity for the chapter members,” said Alex Sterling, a recent graduate of SUNY Canton’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program and ASCE Chapter president.

Steel Bridge competing in Oregon

In addition to Sterling, eight members of the 25-student team made the trip to Oregon, including:

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. The SUNY Canton College Foundation helps pay for the students’ travel expenses.

“Eric S. Tessmer, owner of Riverside Iron, LLC in Gouverneur donated the steel for this year’s bridge,” Hitchman said. “He’s a graduate of our Civil Engineering Technology program and his support was key to our success.”


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 degrees. The college’s 15 athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level and are conference members of the newly formed American Collegiate Athletic Association.

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