Student Competitions: Steel Bridge & Baja Car

Steel Bridge

The YSU Steel Bridge team placed 11th overall at the National Student Steel Bridge Competition. This is tied for the highest that YSU has ever placed at the competition. There were approximately 45 schools there mostly from the United States, but Puerto Rico, China, Mexico, and Canada were all represented as well. Approximately 250 schools participated in the regional competitions combined prior.

The 2017 National Student Steel Bridge Competition was hosted by the ASCE Student Chapter of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, on May 26-27, 2017.

YSU placed second in the display category, fifth in the construction economy category, and eighth in the lightness category.

The team members were Tommy Carnes, Greg Lipp, David Mendenhall, Nico Pagley, Spencer DeSalvo, and Kenny Anderson.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Competition Mission:

The mission of the ASCE/AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition (SSBC) is to supplement the education of civil engineering students with a comprehensive, student-driven project experience from conception and design through fabrication, erection, and testing, culminating in a steel structure that meets client specifications and optimizes performance and economy. The SSBC increases awareness of real-world engineering issues such as spatial constraints, material properties, strength, serviceability, fabrication and erection processes, safety, esthetics, and cost. Success in inter-collegiate competition requires effective teamwork and project management. Future engineers are stimulated to innovate, practice professionalism, and use structural steel efficiently.

Baja Car

The YSU Baja team competed at the Baja International event in Peoria, IL, June 7-10, 2017.

109 teams participated from the US (all over), Canada, Mexico, India, and the United Arab Emirates. View the full list of participating schools: http://students.sae.org/cds/bajasae/midwest/teams/.

YSU placed 33rd overall.

In dynamic events:

Acceleration 62nd
Rock Crawl 48th
Hill Climb 42nd
Maneuverability 20th

The main event: 4-hour endurance race, YSU placed 16th!

YSU Baja Team

Students that went to competition include

4 newly graduated seniors:

  • Zach Thompson—hired at Marsh Bellofram
  • Donny Dixon—hired at Timken
  • Nick Mastrangelo—hired at Quality Bridge and Fab
  • Matt Silvers—job searching now that Baja is complete

5 rising seniors that will be doing Baja next year in senior design,

4 rising juniors that will assist in Baja next year.

Civil Engineering Competitions: Concrete Canoe & Steel Bridge

The YSU American Society of Civil Engineers has been hard at work this year. The concrete canoe and steel bridge teams competed well at the Ohio Valley Student Conference in Columbus, Ohio (The Ohio State University) in April.

Concrete Canoe

The concrete canoe team placed second overall out of nine teams at their regional competition.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There are four main categories for judging: design paper, oral presentation, final product, and racing.

2nd in design paper

4th in oral presentation

2nd in final product

2nd in racing

1st in men’s sprint
2nd in men’s endurance
3rd in women’s sprint
3rd in women’s endurance
2nd in coed sprint

The endurance races include a 100 m slalom with 500 m of additional course.

Men’s and women’s sprints are two 100 m straights with a 180 degree turn in between.

Both men’s and women’s races have two people in the canoe at a time.

The coed sprint has two men and two women in the boat, and the team must altogether complete 400 m of straight and three 180 degree turns.

Other schools in the competition included the University of Akron, Western Kentucky University, University of Cincinnati, University of Louisville, Cincinnati State University, University of Pittsburgh, Ohio University, and Ohio State University.

YSU team members included Miranda DeFuria (captain), Thomas Carnes, David Mendenhall, Leah McConnell, Karen Schilling, Nico Pagley, Gregory Lipp, Spencer DeSalvo, Kelly Hollis, Taylor Monroe, Jacob Millerleile, Julian Rosales, Montana Gessler, and Kenneth Anderson.

Steel Bridge

For this competition, students must design a 20′ scale bridge of a 200′ bridge. There are various design constraints that are given each year that present new challenges and are given in attempt to make this design experience as close to a real-life situation as possible.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The factors that decide the score are as follows:

  • the weight of the bridge
  • the amount that the bridge deflects when loaded with 2500 pounds
  • how quickly the bridge can be assembled at the competition
  • the appearance of the bridge

The YSU team placed first overall

1st in lightness

1st in display

1st in structural efficiency

2nd in construction speed

2nd in construction economy

4th in stiffness

The team members included Tommy Carnes (captain), David Mendenhall, Leah McConnell, Karen Schilling, Nico Pagley, Greg Lipp, Spencer DeSalvo, Miranda DeFuria, Montana Gessler, and Kenny Anderson.

Nationals are being hosted by Oregon State University May 26-27.

Student Organization Spotlight: The American Society of Civil Engineers

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The American Society of Civil Engineers Youngstown State University Student Chapter is an organization for engineering students of all disciplines.

The main focus of the group, besides bringing YSU’s engineering students together, is building and preparing for the steel bridge and concrete canoe competitions. All of this preparation has paid off for them this year; they won first place at the Ohio Valley Student Conference for their steel bridge.

“The steel bridge competition is a cost analysis sort of thing,” said Leah McConnell, president of YSU’s ASCE. “So we fabricate this bridge and they do a load test—they measure how much it deflects and they also do a side sway test to see how much it moves from side to side.”

For the steel bridge competition, students compete to make the strongest bridge with the lowest cost.

“Our bridge cost a little bit over six million dollars total and then the next lowest cost was about eight million dollars,” said Leah. “So we beat all the other schools by about two million dollars, which is pretty impressive.”

YSU’s ASCE won $1000 for coming in first place at the regional steel bridge competition. They plan to use the money toward their trip to the national conference that they qualified for.

Any engineering students at YSU are welcome to join the ASCE. They have weekly meetings and compete in regular events against other schools across the country.

“We have a great group of people,” said Leah. “We really do become like a family since we spend so much time together.”

For more information, contact Leah at lmcconnell@student.ysu.edu or Dr. Islam at aaislam@ysu.edu.

YSU Engineering Students Win Award in Fracking Wastewater Treatment Competition

Part of the team involved in the competition.

Youngstown State University (YSU) Civil Engineering students placed third out of ten universities in an Environmental Design Competition held at the University of Pittsburgh on March 31. The contest was part of the annual American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Ohio Valley Student Conference. Other universities participating included the University of Kentucky, University of Pittsburgh, University of Akron, Cleveland State University, Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, and Ohio University.

The main goal of the competition was to remove barium and turbidity from wastewater generated by hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) of shale for natural gas wells. The YSU team added simple household chemicals – Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) – to precipitate barium sulfate and neutralize pH, then passed the water through a sand filter to remove turbidity. Their design removed 93% of barium and 98% of turbidity from the wastewater. Their treatment performance score tied them for first place in this category with the University of Kentucky.

Research on the treatment method was performed by Darshan Baral, a graduate student in Civil Engineering. In laboratory studies, Darshan was able to achieve 99.9% removal of barium. The treatment apparatus was prepared and operated by Tom Bowser and Sentel Rodgers, both seniors majoring in Civil Engineering. The students were advised by Drs. Scott Martin (Civil Engineering) and Felicia Armstrong (Environmental Studies).

YSU Engineering Students Win Concrete Canoe Competition

ASCE posing at the lake with their canoe.

Youngstown State University’s Concrete Canoe team dominated their regional competition at the University of Pittsburgh on March 30, placing first in four out of five races. The team also won first place awards for best design paper and best finished product, and placed first overall in the competition. They qualified to participate in the National Concrete Canoe Competition to be held June 15-16 at the University of Nevada, Reno. Nathan Knapp, a senior in civil engineering, is the concrete canoe team captain.

The competition was part of the annual American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Ohio Valley Student Conference, attended by civil engineering students from thirteen universities, including the University of Pittsburgh, Akron, Cleveland State, Carnegie Mellon, Ohio State, Ohio University, Cincinnati, University of Kentucky, Louisville, and Western Kentucky. The YSU students also placed second in the steel bridge building competition, earning an invitation to the National Student Steel Bridge Building Competition to be held May 24-26 at Clemson University in South Carolina. Dan Phillips, a civil engineering graduate student, is the steel bridge team captain.

In other conference events, the YSU Environmental Design team placed third out of ten teams in a contest requiring the removal of barium from hydraulic fracturing wastewater, and third place in the balsa wood bridge competition. Fourteen YSU engineering students attended the conference, along with faculty advisor, Dr. Scott Martin, and practitioner advisor, Adam DePizzo.

The team poses with their award plaques.