Posts Tagged ‘Robert R. Blickwedehl’

SUNY Canton Wins ASCE Steel Bridge Competition

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

The SUNY Canton student steel bridge team outscored its regional competitors by building the most efficient and economical bridge at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Upstate New York Student Conference Championships. The competition is co-sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC).

Bridge Team in Action

SUNY Canton student steel bridge team vice president and bridge designer William W. Corbine of Potsdam (far right) tightens the final bolts on the College's bridge during the assembly stage of the competition.

The College hosted the bridge portion of the competition on Friday at the brand new Roos House Athletic Center. It was the 13th time in 17 years that SUNY Canton students have captured the regional title.

“Congratulations to our student steel bridge team for their regional victory and good luck to them in the nationals,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “I’m very proud of the time and energy they’ve poured into designing and making their bridge. I’m also extremely proud of all the work the team did to make hosting the competition such a great success. I’m certain that these experiences and successes will serve them well as they prepare for successful careers.”



The competition challenges student teams to construct a one-tenth-scale model bridge designed to meet certain criteria, including construction speed, lightness, display, stiffness, economy, and efficiency.

“The students made all of the right choices from the beginning to make this bridge the winning entry,” said Robert R. Blickwedehl, a College instructor and SUNY Canton ASCE student chapter advisor. “I look forward to seeing them compete against top colleges and universities in the nation once again this year.”

The team will now prepare to head to the ASCE/AISC national competition scheduled for May 25 at Clemson University in South Carolina.

The judges use a formula to project how much implementation of each entry would cost, and the total cost determines the winning entry. The SUNY Canton bridge entry would cost an estimated $4.3 million and took just under eight minutes to construct. It was approximately $1.8 million cheaper and was assembled eight minutes faster than the nearest rival entry from second-place winner École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS) from Montreal, Quebec.

Bridge Team

In order of finish, after the SUNY Canton and ETS entries were:

  • Cornell University
  • Clarkson University
  • SUNY at Buffalo
  • Hudson Valley Community College
  • The United States Military Academy at West Point
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rochester Institute of Technology

“This was the best regional competition that we’ve been to as far as I can remember,” said Paul D. Hitchman, a faculty advisor for the student steel bridge team. “I can’t thank the faculty, staff, students and administration enough for helping us make the event a tremendous success.”

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Manager, or call 315/386-7527.


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SUNY Canton Steel Bridge Team Wins National Competition

Monday, May 25th, 2009
Pictured is Tyler Purdy of Stephentown, a 2009 Graduate of the SUNY Canton Civil Engineering Technology Program and a member of the SUNY Canton American Society of Civil Engineers Steel Bridge Team. Purdy and his Teammates won the national Student Steel Bridge Competition.

Pictured is Tyler Purdy of Stephentown, a 2009 Graduate of the SUNY Canton Civil Engineering Technology Program and a member of the SUNY Canton American Society of Civil Engineers Steel Bridge Team. Purdy and his Teammates won the national Student Steel Bridge Competition.

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.

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