SUNY Canton Team Builds Best Steel Bridge

Steel Bridge Team

Michael D. Woodruff, a civil and environmental technology major from Vermontville and L. Tom Woodruff, a civil engineering technology major from Hermon, rapidly assemble their steel bridge. Michael is the student president of the SUNY Canton ASCE-AISC Student Steel Bridge Team.

SUNY Canton students built a better bridge faster than their competitors, placing first in the Upstate New York Regional Competition in Montreal, Canada.

The College’s student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and American Institute of Steel Construction competes almost every year in the regional and national-level intercollegiate challenge.

“SUNY Canton dominated the field of competitors and won first place in all categories judged,” said Paul D. Hitchman, a faculty advisor for the team of students. “We blew the competition out of the water with the overall stiffness, or rigidity, of our entry.”

The team clocked a 8.24 minute overall construction speed, with one penalty for a dropped bolt, according to the team’s president and civil and environmental technology major Michael D. Woodruff of Vermontville. “Our closest competition was the University of Buffalo with a 9.025 (minute) construction speed,” he said.

The challenge was to build a bridge over a scenic river for a new state park road allowing access to remote areas. SUNY Canton’s team prepares for a full academic year before the competition. The students design and experiment to solve the challenge before creating a steel bridge that they can rapidly assemble in front of a panel of judges. The bridge is then loaded with weights to test its integrity. Each team is evaluated on display, lightness, stiffness, speed, economy, and efficiency.

The students pitted their bridge design and building abilities against teams including those from the University at Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology, Cornell University, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Ecole de Technologie Superieure, Hudson Valley Community College, and Clarkson University.

Tom Woodruff

L. Tom Woodruff, a SUNY Canton civil engineering technology major from Hermon assembles the steel bridge during a practice session.

The team is now preparing to reclaim their 2009 national title at the 2011 National Student Steel Bridge Competition to be held on May 20 and 21 at Texas A&M University.

To support the team, please contact the SUNY Canton Foundation at 315.386.7127 or email foundation@canton.edu. Numerous faculty and staff members at the College support the team and contribute to this cause through payroll deductions and personal donations.

 

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