The inaugural Student Competition on Cold-Formed Steel Design received a total of 78 entries from 9 universities in the United States, Canada, China, Turkey, and Australia.
The purpose of the 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. The sponsors of the competition are the University of North Texas, National Science Foundation, American Iron and Steel Institute, and Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute.
The competition was open to full-time graduate and undergraduate students, and competitors were instructed to take on a cold-formed steel design problem and solve it using an open source software.
The competition was launched by Dr. Cheng Yu (in photo), associate professor in the Department of Engineering Technology and coordinator of the Construction Engineering Technology Program. Last year, Yu was awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award for a five-year research project to study the design of cold-formed steel shear walls and to develop high-performance structures.
“We thank all the participating students and their faculty advisors for making the first CFS Design Student Competition a truly successful one. Everyone is a winner in this competition,” Yu said.
The students were challenged with designing an optimal cold-formed steel cross-section shape. The optimal shape shall yield an as high as possible critical elastic buckling load for half-wave lengths equal to or less than 12 inches when uniform compression stresses are applied. Student entrants were required to work on the challenge individually, and no team solutions were accepted.
The winners were selected by a panel of judges consisting of Yu and:
• Christopher Moen, Ph.D., P.E, assistant professor, Virginia Tech
• Tim Bell, branch engineer, Simpson Strong-Tie
• Rick Haws, P.E., technical services manager, NUCONSTEEL, A Nucor Company
• Ken Stout, Automated Framing Systems Customer Service, Training, and Support Supervisor, NUCONSTEEL, a Nucor Company
The judge panel carefully reviewed all entries and ranked them according to the design's efficiency and constructability as well as the quality of the essay. The top students were: Jiazhen Leng, Johns Hopkins University (1st place); David Cross, Virginia Tech (2nd place); and Michael Palles IV, Virginia Tech (3rd place). The winners will receive an award plaque, and their submissions will be exhibited at industry conferences. The Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute awards one year student membership to the top 10 students, which included UNT’s Roger Rovira.
“We sincerely appreciate the supports and advices from the sponsors and many individuals. We look forward to holding the competition again in 2012,” Yu stated.