SUNY Canton Students Build Second Best Bridge in Regional Competition
A team of SUNY Canton students have earned a spot in the 2023 American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) National Student Steel Bridge Competition following an outstanding showing at the Upstate New York – Canada regionals.
“The students worked exceptionally hard over the course of this academic year designing and building the bridge and preparing for competition,” said Associate Professor Adrienne C. Rygel, Ph.D., who serves as a faculty advisor for the team. “Our work, and the excitement, does not stop here. We now are looking ahead to the national competition and hopefully our continued success.”
Members of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapter participated in their first contest of the year, held April 20 at the University at Buffalo (UB). The goal of the competition is to challenge students to build the best bridge by following a strict set of parameters outlined by AISC.
Overall, the team took second place, earning first in the aesthetics category, second in construction speed, first in lightness, third in stiffness, second in estimated cost, second in economy, second in structural efficiency, and third at the student symposium presentation. They were only topped by the UB team. They bested the United States Military Academy at West Point, Clarkson University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, among others.
“An entire year’s worth of dedication has truly paid off, and we are all proud of their impressive finish,” said Canino School of Engineering Technology Dean Michael J. Newtown. “The team’s strong showing at regionals shows us all that they are prepared for the upcoming national competition.”
Mechanical Engineering Technology Instructional Support Associate Neil A. Haney served as the head bridge manufacturer, with help from Civil Engineering Technology Instructional Support associate Andrew L. Reiter. Haney worked directly with the student fabricators to teach them how to cut, machine and weld each of the steel pieces.
“It’s a school-wide point of pride that our students were able to design and fabricate a bridge that is competitive with some of the top colleges in the region,” Haney said.
According to Mohammad Shabbir, ASCE Student Chapter President, the path to the competition included intensive practice and planning. The process included a bridge specific class taught by Associate Professor Saeid Haji Ghasemali.
“We designed three different bridges, analyzing them all, and then chose one bridge that had the least deflection, was easy to build, and was lightweight,” Shabbir said. “During the winter break, Mr. Haney helped us fabricate the bridge.”
Students Mathew Greene and Peter Parrish were largely responsible for constructing the bridge, with assistance from other student fabricators.
Members of the ASCE Student Chapter include:
- Zion-Ishmael L. Bennett, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from the Bronx. Bennett is on the design team and build team.
- Meah C. Boyles, a Construction Technology Management major from Mohawk. Boyles is a student fabricator.
- Mathew Greene, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Waddington. Greene is the project manager, is a lead student fabricator, is on the design, build and load teams.
- Raiden J. Hansen, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Fulton. Hansen is the ASCE Student Chapter vice president and is on the build team.
- Dominic E. Hauptman, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Corning. Hauptman is on the load team, is the Mead paper author and oral report presenter.
- Bennett K. Martino, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Vermontville. Martino is on the design team.
- Eloge E. Ndja, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Monroe. Ndja is on the load team.
- Peter W. Parrish, an Engineering Science major from Edwards. Parrish is an ASCE Student Chapter senator, a lead student fabricator and on the build team.
- Chandradat Rampat, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major from Norfolk. Rampat is the ASCE Student Chapter secretary.
- Waleed Safdar, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Brooklyn. Safdar is a design team member.
- Mohammad Shabbir, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Kingston. In addition to being ASCE Student Chapter President, Shabbir is a member of the design team.
- Ronald J. Wood-Terrance, a SUNY Canton Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Bombay. Wood-Terrance is the ASCE Student Chapter treasurer and is on the design and load teams.
The ASCE student chapter receives holistic support from the greater SUNY Canton community, including alumni, friends, the Canton College Foundation, President Zvi Szafran’s Office, and the Student Government Association.
As Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs, SUNY Canton delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, management, and healthcare fields. It is home to the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. 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 23 online degree programs. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also features varsity esports and cheerleading.