NYU Tandon Steel Bridge Team shows strength, performance, and great design

Each year, the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) challenge student teams across the nation to conceive, design, fabricate, erect, and test a steel bridge that meets competition specifications and optimizes performance and economy. In the process, participants gain experience with real-world engineering issues, including spatial constraints, material properties, strength, serviceability, safety, aesthetics, and project management.

At this year’s regional competition, held in April, the NYU Tandon Steel Bridge Team went head-to-head against peers from such schools as  Rutgers, Stevens, and Fairleigh Dickinson, and once the dust settled (or should we say, once the steel had been assembled), they ended up in an impressive second-place finish, entitling them to participate in the national finals in Louisiana at the end of May.

Along the way to that podium finish, they also racked up a third-place finish in the category of cost estimation (a vital skill in any construction project), a second-place finish in construction economy (indicating that they completed the job with as lean a team as possible), and a second-place finish in speed of construction (clocking in at a masterly 11 minutes–an accomplishment they directly link to the encouragement of their team advisors, alum and adjunct instructor Mark Milkis and alum Chris Katsanos).

While competition rules allow for hiring professional outside fabricators, Tandon’s Steel Bridge team eschewed that shortcut, manufacturing vital connectors in the MakerSpace to ensure a perfect fit while not compromising quality, a lesson learned from earlier competitions. (Team members Leon Seetoo and Devansh Agrawal are owed enormous thanks for their manufacturing work, the team stresses.)

Sumit Shakya, a master’s student, serves on the team as an analyst, which entails making sure the design meets competition guidelines for weight bearing and deflection (the degree to which a material deforms under a load). He explains that Tandon’s steel bridge underwent multiple iterations, testing the team’s persistence, flexibility, and collaborative spirit. “We had to strike a balance between performance and constructability,” he says, “and that took many late nights of work and practice. It was worth it, though, and to see the builders get their time down from over an-hour-and-a-half to just about 10 minutes was really inspiring.”

Shakya continued: "I would also like to give a shout out to all team members, who did their absolute best in every capacity. Our achievement wouldn't have been possible without their efforts. Fabrication Captain Francicso inspired his crew to meet tight deadlines, and team leads Melizza and Ivan did a mega job in improving performance from previous years.”

“Tandon civil engineers are trained to meet the highest standards of professionalism, creativity, and technical skill,” said Chair of the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering Magued Iskander. “Our Steel Bridge team exemplifies all those qualities and more, and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”


  • Project Manager: Melizza Ochoa
  • Assistant Project Manager: Ivan Bao
  • Advisors: Mark Milkis, Christopher Katsanos



  • Design Lead: Sofia Estrada
  • Structural Analyst: Sumit Shakya
  • Senior Designer: Sofia Dubilet
  • Senior Deisgner: Guilhermo Pinto
  • Design Apprentice: Albert Lin



  • Modeling Lead: Leon Seetoo
  • Senior Modeler: Eduardo Ortiz
  • Modeling Apprentice: Ridwan



  • Fabrication Lead: Francisco Jimenez
  • Fabrication Apprentice: Ridwan
  • Fabrication Apprentice: 
  • Albert Lin
  • Andy Park
  • Eric Lin
  • Jerich Jodon
  • Kevin Wang
  • Labeeb Yousuf
  • Priya Patel
  • Saadullah Hyder
  • Sara Elcheikhali
  • Zachary NemniJones



  • Lead: Miguel Valle
  • Members:
  • Jana Awadalla
  • Francisco Jimenez
  • Albert Lin