Winners Named in 2nd Annual Cold-Formed Steel Design Student Competition

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 13, 2012 – The winners of the second annual Student Competition on Cold-Formed Steel Design, hosted at the University of North Texas (UNT), have been announced. The competition is held to promote higher education in cold-formed steel structural design and to encourage students to use creative thinking skills to solve engineering problems. Co-sponsors of the competition include the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI), the University of North Texas and the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

This year’s theme was “More Challenges, Greater Awards” as students sought to design an open section shape for a 48-inch-long cold-formed steel truss member which yields the highest possible nominal compression strength, where distortional buckling is ignored. UNT received 56 entries from four different institutions in the United States and China. The winners were:

• First Place – Matthew Wilde - Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
• Second Place – Armen Adekristi, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
• Third Place – Duping Zhang, Chongqing University, China

“There were many excellent projects submitted, and the judges were faced with their own challenges in ranking them according to the design’s efficiency and constructability as well as the quality of the essay,” Jay Larson, P.E., F.ASCE, managing director of AISI’s Construction Technical Program, said. Noting that special kudos is in order for Virginia Tech, whose students claimed eight of the top 10 entries, Larson said: “Each entry was reviewed carefully. We congratulate the finalists, and appreciate the time and effort taken by each of the contestants to submit their cold-formed steel solutions.”

Cheng Yu, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of North Texas, said: “We welcome ideas and suggestions for future competitions and look forward to hosting this event again in 2013.”

The top three winners will receive monetary awards and award plaques, with recognition provided by Dr. Cheng Yu at the 21st International Specialty Conference on Cold-Formed Steel Structures being held October 24-25, 2012. The top 10 students in the 2012 competition will receive one-year student memberships in the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI). The winning designs are posted at:

The competition was launched in March 2012, with entries due on June 30, 2012. Entries were judged by a panel of individuals who are nationally recognized in the area of cold-formed steel design:

• Rick Haws, P.E., engineer, NUCOR Building Systems
• Roger A. LaBoube, Ph.D., P.E., Distinguished Teaching Professor, Missouri University of Science and Technology and director of the Wei-Wen Yu Center for Cold-Formed Steel Structures
• Cristopher Moen, Ph.D., P.E, assistant professor, Virginia Tech
• Sutton Stephens, Ph.D., P.E., S.E., Kansas State University
• Cheng Yu, Ph.D., associate professor, University of North Texas

AISI’s codes and standards work is conducted under the Construction Market Council of the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of AISI, which oversees the industry’s investment in advancing the competitive use of steel by meeting the demands of the marketplace. For more information on SMDI’s Construction Market program, visit

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 124 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI's member companies represent over three-quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s website at

Debbie Bennett
Manager, SMDI and Construction Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 202.452.7179