Engineering students build their way to the top


The University of Akron’s Steel Bridge Competition Team recently placed fifth out of 46 teams in the nation at the 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers/American Institute of Steel Construction Steel Bridge Competition. Students from all over the country put their skill, talent and ingenuity to work to design and build a steel bridge.
UA placed second, fourth and seventh, respectively, in the bridge stiffness, economy and display categories at the May 25-26 competition at Clemson University in South Carolina.
Placing in the overall top five nationally put UA in good company:

  1. University of California, Berkeley
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  3. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  4. Michigan Technical University
  5. The University of Akron

Faculty adviser Dr. Stephen Duirk, assistant professor or civil engineering, shares insight on the team’s success. “The steel bridge team has significantly matured in its design approach and methodology that will ensure its success for many years to come,” he says. “Their revised design strategy allows them to adapt to annual build-criteria changes while still producing a highly competitive structure, as evident by their recent success at Clemson.”
Members of the UA Steel Bridge Team include; Meredith Cariglio, Mike Collins, Mark Floro, Ben Habig, Derek Hauff, Robert Hermann, Connie Hollo, Hristo Ivanov, Katelyn Kitner, Anthony Lelli, Edward Machek, Matthew McCreary, Brian Nixdorf (team captain), Tim Nixdorf, Ben O’Neil, Emidio Piermarini, Ben Romine, Ben Thoburn, Mark Wadowick, Dustin Weaver and Josh Weaver.

Learn more about the College of Engineering's Student Design Teams.

 Story by Nikita Lero.

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or