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Winners named in 2013 International Student Competition on Cold-Formed Steel Design

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Co-sponsors of an international student competition on cold-formed steel design announced three winners from Virginia Tech University and the University of Waterloo in Canada. The 2013 International Student Competition on Cold-Formed Steel Design, hosted by the University of North Texas (UNT), promotes higher education in cold-formed steel structural design and encourages students to use creative thinking skills to solve engineering problems. Co-sponsors include the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the University of North Texas.

For this year’s competition, students were asked to design an open section shape for an 8-inch deep, 25-ft. long flexural member that provides an adequate nominal bending strength and utilizes the least possible material. UNT received 55 entries from eight different institutions in Canada, China, Iran, Thailand, and the United States.

The winners were:

  • First Place – Junle Cai – Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA
  • Second Place – Colin Van Niejenhuis, University of Waterloo, Canada
  • Third Place – Yu Gao, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA

“We were pleased to have more international entries in this competition than in previous years,” said Jay Larson, P.E., F.ASCE, managing director of AISI’s Construction Technical Program. “The students were challenged to provide a design solution that they could encounter in the workplace. They were required to design a cross-sectional shape for a floor joist that could accommodate the installation of both floor decking and ceiling panels, using standard steel thicknesses. Many excellent entries were submitted.”

Cheng Yu, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of North Texas and organizer of the competition, said: “We congratulate the finalists, and appreciate the time and effort taken by the contestants to submit their cold-formed steel solutions. We welcome ideas and suggestions for future competitions and look forward to participating in this event again next year.”

The top three winners will receive monetary awards and award plaques, with their designs exhibited at various conferences in 2014. The top 10 students in the 2013 competition will receive one-year student memberships in the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI). The winning designs are posted at: https://cfscompetition.unt.edu

This year’s competition was launched in April 2013, with entries due on September 15, 2013. Entries were judged by a panel of individuals who are nationally recognized in the area of cold-formed steel design:

  • Yared Shifferaw Bayleyegn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Drexel University
  • Rick Haws, P.E., NBS Group Services, a NUCOR Company
  • Roger A. LaBoube, Ph.D., P.E., Distinguished Teaching Professor, Missouri University of Science and Technology, United States, and Director of the Wei-Wen Yu Center for Cold-Formed Steel Structures
  • Yuanqi Li, Ph.D., Professor, Tongji University, China
  • Cheng Yu, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of North Texas

AISI’s codes and standards work is conducted under the Construction Market Council of the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of AISI, which oversees the industry’s investment in advancing the competitive use of steel by meeting the demands of the marketplace.

For more information on SMDI’s Construction Market program, visit www.smdisteel.org.