CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) – SUNY Canton announced they took home a second-place national finish and secured eighth place internationally at the recent American Concrete Institute Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites Competition.  

SUNY Canton was one of about 40 teams to enter the competition — which focuses on designing, constructing and testing concrete structures – that was held on October 29 in Boston, Massachusetts. It was the first time Canino School of Engineering Technology students entered the competition.

Saeid Haji Ghasemali, Ph.D., an associate professor who teaches in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology program said, “SUNY Canton’s four-person team undertook the entire project lifecycle, from designing a concrete structure with glass FRP reinforcement, considering factors like structural integrity and cost-effectiveness, to constructing it based on their specifications.” She integrated the challenge into the course, providing students with the opportunity to test their knowledge in a real-world setting, she said “The structure was then rigorously load-tested to evaluate its performance, showcasing their comprehensive skills in action.”

The primary objective of the competition is to perfect design and construction methods to balance the cost of materials with the structure’s load-bearing capabilities. Achieving a successful ratio indicates efficient resource utilization and cost-effectiveness, both are essential in real-world construction projects.

With assistance from Andrew L. Reiter, an instructional support assistant for the program, Students developed their own proprietary formula and process to be competitive. “Mr. Reiter played a crucial role in the team’s success by assisting in construction, providing materials, and guiding the students through the intricate process of building concrete beams and breaking test cylinders,” said Ghasemali.

In addition to providing hands-on experience related to the construction industry, students were challenged to be innovative and demonstrate their problem-solving abilities. The competition also highlighted sustainable design concepts, which are quickly becoming important in the industry.

Students who represented SUNY Canton at the ACI FRP Composites Competition:

  • Cameron J. Hodson of Potsdam;
  • Waleed Safdar of Brooklyn;
  • Emma L. Kielmeier of Pyrites; and
  • Lucas Roy of Canton.

“By design, SUNY Canton employs faculty and staff with real-world professional knowledge to help students prepare for their careers, — Our students demonstrated our commitment to fostering excellence and preparing them for successful careers.”

Michael J. Newtown, Canino School of Engineering Technology Dean

Newtown said the team’s impressive initial performance was indicative of the students’ prospects for employment.