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SUNY Canton bridge team prepping for national tournament in Ohio

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CANTON - Students from SUNY Canton’s engineering technology programs are slated to compete against teams from about 50 other colleges and universities at the National Student Steel Bridge Competition.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and American Institute of Steel Construction competition will begin on May 23 at the University of Akron in Ohio.

The SUNY Canton ASCE student chapter, commonly referred to as the steel bridge team, recently finished third in the Upstate Regional Competition. Their high-scoring entry earned them an invite to the next level of competition.

“The team picked up a couple of avoidable penalties at regionals,” said steel bridge team adviser Paul D. Hitchman, an instructional support associate in SUNY Canton’s Canino School of Engineering Technology. “With a little work they can continue to be competitive at the national level.”

The students were upset by their longtime rival École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS) from Montreal and by SUNY Buffalo. The team has swept the competition 15 times in 18 years.

The team designed the scale-model bridge to be extremely light, while maintaining its structural integrity during weight testing. ASCE Student Chapter President Alyssa M. Baker of Boonville pointed out that the team did win first place in the lightness category.

“I’m very confident in our bridge and in our team,” Baker said. “We are going to make a few changes so we can place higher at the national competition.”

Baker is one of several Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology majors in the eight-student team.

The students placed fourth in construction speed, eighth in aesthetics, second in stiffness, seventh in economy and second in efficiency at the regional competition.

The bridge team is now seeking donations to offset travel costs for their trip to Akron, Ohio, which are estimated to be more than $7,000. To support the team, please contact the SUNY Canton College Foundation at 315-386-7127 or email foundation@canton.edu.

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