The 2014 International Student Competition on Cold-Formed Steel Design announced three winners from the University of North Texas, Tongji University, and the University of Waterloo. The competition promoted higher education in cold-formed steel structural design and encouraged students to use creative thinking skills to solve engineering problems. Co-sponsors for the 2014 competition included the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the University of North Texas, and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). 

Generating 42 entries from eight universities in China, Thailand, Brazil, Canada and the United States, all entries were judged by a panel of industry professionals and ranked according to the design’s efficiency and constructability. As well, they were assessed on the quality of the essay submitted with the entry. 

The winners:

  • First Place—Chris Willis, University of North Texas, U.S. 
  • Second Place—Zongya Xu, Tongji University, China
  • Third Place—Benjamin Dow, University of Waterloo, Canada

“This is the only competition of its kind in the cold-formed steel industry,” said Maribeth Rizzuto, LEED AP—BD&C, managing director of the CFSEI and Director of Education and Sustainable Construction for the Steel Framing Alliance. “It requires participants to utilize their knowledge of the latest innovations in manufacturing, Building Information Modeling, logistics technologies, and apply that knowledge in developing a cold-formed steel solution to a specific design challenge that they could face in the workplace.” 

Cheng Yu, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of North Texas and a competition organizer, said, “This year’s participants were asked to design an optimal cross-section shape for a 96-inch long cold-formed steel stud column which provides adequate compression strength and utilizes the least amount of material. We were pleased with the entries, which included more international participation than previous competitions.”

The top three winners receive monetary awards and award plaques and will have their designs exhibited at various industry conferences in 2015. The top 10 students will receive 1-year student memberships in the CFSEI. The winning designs, list of top 10 student winners, and additional information are posted at