Steel News

Winners Announced in 13th Annual ACSA/AISC Steel Design Student Competition

10/11/2013 - Twenty-four architecture students from universities around North America were honored in the 2012–2013 Steel Design Student Competition.
Administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the program challenges architecture students, working individually or in teams, to explore a variety of design issues related to the use of steel in design and construction. A total of US$14,000 in cash prizes was awarded to the winning students and their faculty sponsors.

Students submitted designs in two categories that required steel to be used as the primary structural material and with special emphasis placed on innovation in steel design. The Bridge to Building category challenged students to design a pedestrian bridge that would enrich its location and provide a vital spatial connection, as well as include an ancillary function — a small pavilion — that supports the cause for the crossing. In the Open Category, students were given the opportunity to select a site and building program that included at least one long-span steel structure. 

The award winners in each category are:

Category I – Building to Bridge

First Place: “Stream_Line”
Students: Christopher Garrow, Heather Martin and Kaitlin Shenk 
Faculty Sponsors: Donald Dunham, Brian Johnston, Thomas Kirchner, Lisa Phillips and Barbara Macaulay 
School: Philadelphia University
“Real-world issues require more inclusive and interdisciplinary strategies – strategies that can help craft sustainable real-world solutions,” commented Dunham. “Giving our students real-world frameworks through international and national competition forums allows them to test new knowledge patterns in the most competitive, creative and intellectual environments.”

Second Place: “Adaptive Connections”
Students: Vahe Markosian, Andrew Maier III, Mark Pothier and James P Stoddart 
Faculty Sponsors: John C Cerone and Adam Modesitt 
School: Columbia University

Third Place: “Building [Equilibrium] Bridge”
Student: Javier Bidot-Betancourt 
Faculty Sponsor: Jose Lorenzo-Torres 
School: Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico

Honorable Mentions:
  • [PORT]al Memorium
    Students: Kamilah Acebal and Sophie Juneau
    Faculty Sponsor: Edgar Sarli
    School: University of Miami
  • The Introduction of Force to Minimalize Material
    Students: Jason Baiocchi and Jeremy Riback
    Faculty Sponsor: Christopher D. Trumble
    School: University of Arizona
  • Bridge Over | Pass Under
    Student: Chad Guempel
    Faculty Sponsor: Genevieve Baudoin
    School: University of Kansas
  • Berkeley Bridge
    Students: Jonathan Chiang and Jarvis Gene Lee
    Faculty Sponsor: Gary Black
    School: University of California, Berkeley

Category II – Open
Prize Winner: “Injection”
Students: Trevor Larsen and Ben Pennell
Faculty Sponsor: Thomas Fowler IV
School: California Polytechnic State University

Prize Winner: “Inverted Landscape”
Students: Byron Marroquin and Sal Vargas
Faculty Sponsor: Joshua G. Stein
School: Woodbury University

Honorable Mentions:
  • Synchronous Paths - Toward a Center for Autism
    Students: Sarah Limbocker, Marcia Trein, Lina Burnett and Sunyoung Kim
    Faculty Sponsor: Bruce Johnson
    School: University of Kansas
  • Quilt of enLIGHTenment
    Student: Danielle Aspitz
    Faculty Sponsor: Thomas Fowler IV
    School: California Polytechnic State University
  • Inflate: An Expression of Information Use in Bayview, San Francisco
    Student: Max Wisotsky
    Faculty Sponsor: Thomas Fowler IV
    School: California Polytechnic State University

About 250 project submissions from more than 1,000 students were received during this year’s steel design competition, and nearly 100 faculty members served as student advisers for the competition. In total, 48 universities from across North America took part. 

This year’s competition jurors were: Terri Boake, professor of architecture at the University of Waterloo, Canada; Phillip Anzalone, director of the laboratory for applied building science at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University; Peter Weismantle, director of supertall building technology at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) in Chicago; Jeremy Ficca, associate professor of architecture and founding director of the Digital Fabrication Laborary [dFAB] in the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University; Patricia Kucker, associate professor of architecture at the University of Cincinnati; and Kirk Martini, associate professor of structural design at the University of Virginia School of Architecture.

For additional information about the ACSA/AISC Steel Design Student Competition, visit or