2015 International Student Competition on Cold-Formed Steel Design


Official Website http://www.cfsei.org/student-competition  http://cfscompetition.unt.edu




The mission of the International Student Competition on Cold-Formed Steel Design (CFS Design Competition) is to promote higher education in cold-formed steel structural design and to encourage students to use creative thinking skills to solve engineering problems.


After the successful 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 competitions, the 2014 Competition is hosted again at the University of North Teas. We encourage the participation of any students at any level in any major as long as you are creative, interested in designing things, and eager to learn new technologies.


Competition Organizer:

Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute, www.cfsei.org 



National Science Foundation,  www.nsf.gov

American Iron and Steel Institute,  www.steel.org

American Society of Civil Engineers, Committee of Cold-Formed Members, www.asce.org

University of North Texas,  www.unt.edu



The 2015 CFS Design Competition is open to all full-time students at any level. All student entrants are required to work on the problem individually, and no team solutions are accepted.


Judging Panel:

Roger A. LaBoube, Ph.D., P.E., Distinguished Teaching Professor, Missouri University of Science and Technology, US.

Rick Haws, P.E., NBS Group Services, A Nucor Company.

Yuanqi Li, Ph.D., Professor, Tongji University, China.

Yared Shifferaw Bayleyegn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Drexel University, US.

Cheng Yu, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of North Texas, US.



September 30, 2015     Submission deadline. All submissions shall be received electrically before 6:00 pm at student entrant's local time.

November  2015   Winners selected by the Judging Panel.

December 2015    Winners announced.

January 2016       Awards mailed to the winning students.



1st place student will receive a $600 USD monetary award.

2nd place student will receive a $400 USD monetary award.

3rd place student will received a $250 USD monetary award.

The top 25% students will received Tier 1 Honorable Mention Recognition.

All participating students will received free CFSEI student membership.

The winning designs will be recognized and exhibited at appropriate platforms such as professional conferences, websites and news letters.



The 2015 CFS Design Competition Problem:


Design a cold-formed steel clip angle for maximum nominal shear strength per unit weight () with high fabrication feasibility.



The clip angle shall meet the following criteria:

(1)   Overall dimensions of the cantilevered leg 5.25 in. x 2.5 in.  (133.35 mm x 63.50 mm).

(2)   Overall dimensions of the anchored leg 5.25 in. x 1.5 in. (133.25 mm x 38.10 mm).

(3)   Material thickness 0.0451 in. (1.14554 mm).

(4)   Steel properties: elastic modulus 29500 ksi (203.4 MPa), Poissonís ratio 0.3, density 0.284 lb/in3.

(5)   Material yield stress 33 ksi (227.5 MPa), tensile strength 45 ksi (310.3 MPa).

(6)   Assume the anchored leg is fixed and a shear force is applied to the edge of the cantilevered leg.

(7)   Sharp corner at the bend can be assumed.





The students are allowed to use any finite element analysis tools to determine the critical elastic buckling load.

The ABAQUS student edition can be obtained from 3DS Academy website



A detailed design example is provided here.


Design Package and Submission Info

The design package (zipped in one file) must be submitted via email to info@cfsei.org by 6:00pm on September 30, 2015, at student' local time.


The design package shall include two documents:

1) Completed the Information Form. The form can be downloaded here.

2) A design essay (in Word or PDF).


The design package (2 documents) shall be zipped to one single .zip or .rar file, and then emailed to the above address. The name of the single file shall be in the format: first name_last name.zip or first name_last name.rar.


Requirement for Design Essay

A brief essay (in English), limited to maximum 6 letter-size pages, is required as part of the design package. The essay shall describe the concept of the design, the methodology used for optimization, and the finite element modeling and analysis results, and the calculation of the nominal strength.


Evaluation Criteria:      

The winning designs should have a combination of high nominal shear strength per unit weight and high fabrication feasibility. The final ranking of each design will be based on the sum of 80% of its rank in unit strength and 20% of its rank in fabrication feasibility. The rank for fabrication feasibility will be decided by the judges.


    What is Cold-Formed Steel?

Cold-formed steel - Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_formed_steel

CCFSS Cold-Formed Steel for Students. http://www.ccfssonline.org/Student/Student.html



For More Information:

Additional questions on the competition subject, CUFSM software, and submissions should be addressed to:

         Cheng Yu, Associate Professor

         University of North Texas

         3940 E. Elm St., Suite F115

         Denton, TX 76207

         Tel: 940.565.2022

         Fax: 940.565.2666

         e-mail: Cheng.Yu@unt.edu



Last updated 4/17/15