Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn native Nathaniel Evelkin co-captained a team of engineering students at NYU Tandon School of Engineering that qualified for a national competition after taking home first place in three categories of a model steel bridge contest during the regional finals on Saturday, April 9th at the City College of New York.
Evelkin and his teammates placed second overall, thus securing a spot in the national finals at Brigham Young University on May 27th to 28th.
The Steel Bridge Competition, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), requires students to conceive, design, fabricate, erect and test a steel structure that meets client specifications and optimizes performance and economy.
“Second place is a very good achievement,” said Evelkin, a junior at the university who is expected to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering and mechanical engineering in 2017.
“It’s a significant achievement, because it’s the first time in the history of the school that the team has qualified for the national competition.”
The team from NYU Tandon’s Department of Civil and Urban Engineering (CUE) took first place in the classifications of display (how their bridge looked), deflection (how much it moved while bearing a static load) and structural efficiency (a ratio of deflection to weight of bridge) during the regional competitions.
Evelkin and three other main team members, which included co-captain Julia Langewis, a senior majoring in math and civil engineering, worked around the clock while juggling demanding, grueling course loads in order to see the bridge to fruition.
“It (the competition) was very time consuming,” said the 21-one-year-old Brooklynite who graduated from Yeshiva of Flatbush High School in Midwood. “We were in the lab every weekend, from the morning to night—3:00 a.m. We even worked on weeknights, from the morning hours to around midnight or 1 a.m.
“It worked out well between us because each one could relieve the other when our course loads became heavier.”
In addition to the steel bridge squad, Evelkin was a part of the school’s Concrete Canoe team, as a paddler, who nabbed the top spots in the categories of final product and oral presentation and finished in first place overall at the regional ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition on Sunday, April 10th in Denville, New Jersey.
The students will take part in the national competition on June 9th-11th at the University of Texas at Tyler—the school’s fifth trip to the nationals.