SUNY Canton students to compete in state steel bridge competition April 24-26 in Ithaca
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 6:02 am

CANTON – SUNY Canton students will compete in the state steel bridge competition.

The even it sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and American Society of Civil Engineers.

The conference will be held April 24 to 26 at Cornell University, Ithaca. It will be the 18th time that the college has entered a steel bridge in the competition. SUNY Canton's ASCE Student Chapter, commonly known as the steel bridge team, has won the regional competition 14 times prior.

Bridge team members said this year's bridge is much more complex than the previous year's bridges.

"We were trying to make it as light as possible," said Ethan J. Fregoe, an Engineering Science major from Massena. "There are three times as many pieces and three times as many bolts as last year's bridge."

The challenge changes each year and students must come up with a completely new design to compete. This year's objective is to rapidly replace a timber railroad trestle over a river. The line is essential for transporting ore from a lithium mine for a battery production facility, necessitating rapid construction of a replacement bridge.

Codi D. McKee of Barker, a Civil and Environmental Technology major and vice president of the steel bridge team, said that the competition helped him apply his education with hands-on practice. "Sometimes things you work out on paper don't work in real life," McKee said. "The real challenge is to apply everything you've learned into something tangible."

McKee and former bridge team president William W. Corbine III of Potsdam designed the bridge together during the fall semester. Corbine graduated in December, 2013.

Rules of the competition dictate that students design and construct a scale model of a bridge that will meet all of the rules for the competition. Entries are evaluated on stiffness, lightness, construction speed, display, efficiency and economy, according to steel bridge team advisor Paul D. Hitchman, an instructional support associate in SUNY Canton's Canino School of Engineering Technology.

In addition to Fregoe and Mckee, steel bridge team members include:

Nathan A. Archer, an Industrial Technology major from Canton.

Alyssa M. Baker, a Civil and Environmental Technology major from Boonville. Baker is the President of the student run club.

Michael Crowner, a Civil and Environmental Technology major from Gouverneur.

Gregory R. Denner, a Civil and Environmental Technology major from Ogdensburg.

Michael J. Verstraete, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major from Marion.

Andrew C. Walker, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major from Camden.

Dennis Tuper, an Automotive Technology instructional support associate and Paul P. Nasados, a Civil and Environmental Technology assistant professor join Hitchman as the steel bridge team's advisors.