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CCEE student chosen for AISC scholarship

Alec Spano

Civil engineering student Alec Spano was selected for an American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Education Foundation Scholarship. He will be recognized in a future issue of AISC’s magazine Modern Steel Construction. According to the AISC website, the purpose of the scholarship is to “assist qualified students, and to encourage creativity, interest and proficiency in the fabricated structural steel construction industry.”

“When I found out that I won this scholarship I was ecstatic, not just because of the funds it will help provide toward my education, but for the feeling that I have worked hard enough to be recognized by an organization as big as the American Institute of Steel Construction,” Spano said.

Spano served as captain of NC State’s AISC/American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Steel Bridge team. As part of the competition, teams were challenged to construct a prefabricated steel bridge in under 45 minutes with construction constraints such as a river that cannot be crossed, no members or tools touching the floor, and only six builders. Bridges were also load-tested, weighed, and judged on aesthetics. 

From Fall 2022 to Spring 2023, Spano helped grow the team from five to twelve active members. The team competed in the 2023 Student Steel Bridge Competition National Finals after placing first in the 2023 ASCE Carolinas Student Symposium competition earlier this year. Though more than 150 schools across the country participated in regional Steel Bridge Competitions, only 44 were invited to compete in the National Finals. 

“Receiving this scholarship has bolstered my confidence in myself and my enthusiasm for the Student Steel Bridge Competition,” Spano said. “This has resulted in a great deal of excitement thinking about what can be done for the competition this year.”

Spano, who will graduate with a B.S. in civil engineering in December, plans to pursue a master’s degree and hopes to work in the structural engineering industry as a building designer.

“This scholarship is also a great thing for me because it has allowed me to look ahead and focus on what is next for me. I have long considered going to grad school and this gives me the time to prepare for that next step and meet with the right people to give me a headstart academically.”