Lakehead Engineering students scoop top prizes at the annual steel bridge competition

Photo of the team with their awards. 

From Left: Dr. Yanglin Gong, Kriss Patel, Will Neufeld, Matthew Boustani, Josh Fiegehen, Cameron Nash, Stephen Gonzales, and Technologist Cory Hubbard.

A Lakehead Engineering delegation including the Steel Bridge Team and four other Civil Engineering students earned several top prizes at the 2023 ASCE Western Great Lakes Student Symposium hosted by the University of Minnesota Duluth from April 13-15. 

The Lakehead University Steel Bridge Team – comprised of captain Josh Fiegehen, co-captain Cameron Nash, Will Neufeld, Matthew Boustani, Stephen Gonzales, and Kriss Patel – won three awards at the event that featured students from 13 universities. The team achieved second place in aesthetics, third place in structural efficiency, and third place in stiffness. 

Students were challenged to design and fabricate a 23-foot steel bridge, and then assemble it as quickly as possible at the competition while navigating a seven-foot-wide river. The bridge was then load tested to confirm its strength and stiffness. 

“The bridge competition was a true test of our engineering skill and mental toughness,” Fiegehen said. 

“The team really pushed themselves to get the bridge ready for competition, but it was worth it for the once-in-a-lifetime project that we’ll never get to experience again. Our success in the stiffness and structural efficiency categories is a testament to the strength and durability of our design, while our second-place finish in aesthetics shows that we were able to create a bridge that was both functional and visually appealing.” 

In addition, Civil Engineering students Zachary Morgan and Harshit Garg won second place in the Concrete Frisbee Golf competition, where they built five frisbees made out of only concrete without additives or reinforcement. 

Nadine Elmehriki and Matt Scott, also Civil Engineering students, participated in the Concrete Cornhole competition, where they designed and built a cornhole board with the help of two other students, Kailyn Clouthier and Alexander Randall. 

The Lakehead delegation included faculty advisor Dr. Yanglin Gong and support from technologist Cory Hubbard, who also served as the advisor for the concrete competitions. 

“The bridge competition is a perfect example of integrating fun and excitement with learning at Lakehead Engineering. Observing the failure of bridges of our competitors during the load tests gave our students an unforgettable lesson about structural behaviours,” Dr. Gong said. 

Lakehead technologist Cory Hubbard said he is very proud of the students and impressed by their hard work. 

“This is the first time we have competed in the concrete cornhole and concrete frisbee contests. They did very well by placing second, and both teams are looking forward to next year for these awesome competitions.” 

Professor Janusz Kozinski, Dean of Engineering at Lakehead University, said this was a superb performance the Lakehead Engineering students, who competed against some of the top universities in the United States. 

“They did an outstanding job representing us and we are very proud of their achievements,” he said.


From left: Dr. Yanglin Gong, Will Neufeld, Stephen Gonzales, Josh Fiegehen, Cameron Nash, Matthew Boustani, Kriss Patel, and Technologist Cory Hubbard.