More than 200 students from 42 universities around the world will converge on the campus of Milwaukee School of Engineering April 21-25, 2024 for the Cast in Steel competition.

Sponsored by the Steel Founders Society of America (SFSA), the competition challenges university students to use modern steel casting tools to creatively design and produce a functioning version of the year’s test subject. For 2024, the subject is a Halligan bar—a multipurpose tool used by firefighters to gain access to building spaces, vehicles and for a multitude of other emergency uses.

Students will be judged on the design of their Halligan bar, and they are allowed to modify or optimize the design to improve the bar’s utility while performing the same functions as firefighters would. The bars will be tested in prying, punching, twisting and striking. Design parameters include ensuring the bar weighs no more than 6 kg (13.2 lbs) and is no longer than 1 m (40 inches) in overall length. Students must also provide a design plan, a professional technical report and a project video.

The students’ bars will be physically tested Monday, April 22 from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Grohmann Museum parking lot, located at the corner of N. Milwaukee and E. State Streets. The event is free and open to the public. Awards will be announced Tuesday, April 23 at 9:30 a.m.

Awards include:

  1. Best Design and Process ($250/student)
  2. Best Halligan Bar design for the form, fit and functions ($250/student)
  3. Best Casting: Sand Casting ($250/student) and Best Casting: Investment Casting ($250/student)
  4. Best Project Video: ($250/student)
  5. Best Performance based on testing and expert evaluation ($250/student)

 The Grand Champion Team will receive an additional $5,000 for their university sponsor, the student chapter or the program that sponsored them. This grand prize will be based on the top 5 rankings from the categories above.

Participating Schools

Arizona State University 
Arts et Metiers Science et Technologies Cluny
Baylor University 
California Polytechnic University, Pomona 
California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo 
Central Michigan University 
Colorado School of Mines 
Georgia Southern University 
Grand Valley State University 
lnstituto Tecnológico de Morelia 
lnstituto Tecnológico de Saltillo 
Iowa State University 
Kent State University 
Louisiana State University
Michigan Technological University 
Milwaukee School of Engineering 
Mississippi State University 
Missouri University of Science & Technology
Penn State 
Penn State University - Behrend 
Pittsburg State University 
Purdue University 
St. Martin’s University 
Saginaw Valley State University 
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
Texas A&M University 
Texas State University 
The Ohio State University
Trine University 
University of Alabama at Birmingham 
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
University of California, Irvine 
University of Northern Iowa 
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown 
University of South Alabama 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
University of Wisconsin Platteville 
Virginia Tech 
Wentworth Institute of Technology 
Western Michigan University
Youngstown State University