Background Image

News & Events


Clarkson University Takes Top Awards at Timber Bridge Competition

Clarkson University's Timber Bridge Team recently won several top-place positions in the 2008 National Timber Bridge Design Competition. The team, part of the University's Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design (SPEED) program, had their best showing ever, winning four awards.

Out of the 16 teams that competed, the Clarkson University team did the best taking first place in "Best Overall Design," first place for "Best Deck," as well as second place for "Best Support Structure" and second place for "Most Innovative Design." In addition to winning many awards, they also won the highest amount of prize money distributed.

Each team is required to design, build and test wood bridges on their home campus, then submit documentation of their activities and results to a panel of judges for review. The wood used in this project must be commercially available. The competition is conducted online.

The team members were Peter J. Christiano, a senior civil engineering major from Gloversville, N.Y.; Brent P. VanHatten, a senior civil engineering major from Barneveld, N.Y.; Ethan C. Lamiman, a junior civil engineering major from Jay, N.Y.; and Daniel J. Harvey, a sophomore civil engineering major from Sunbury, Pa. Their advisors were Tong Qiu, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Robert J. Davis, director of the SPEED program.

The SPEED program is one of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering hallmark initiatives, exemplifying Clarkson's "defy convention" approach to education. SPEED promotes multidisciplinary, project-based learning opportunities for more than 350 undergraduates annually. Projects involve engineering design, analysis, and fabrication. In addition, students learn real-world business skills, such as budget management, effective teamwork, and communications skills. SPEED receives its primary financial support from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation with contributions from ExxonMobil and Turner Construction Company.

Clarkson University crosses the boundaries of disciplines, nations and cultures in order for discovery, engineering innovation and enterprise to come together. As a result, faculty and graduates grasp the full impact of their calling, direct their research to the world's pressing issues and lead with confidence and distinction. One in seven alumni is already a CEO or other senior executive. Located in Potsdam, N.Y., just outside the six-million-acre Adirondack Park, Clarkson is home to 3,000 students preparing for rewarding careers through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, science, and health sciences, as well as unparalleled outdoor recreation and life experiences beyond the classroom.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

Calendar View the full calendar >>

Full Calendar RSS Feed