The Team

We are pleased to introduce our 2023-2024 Student Steel Bridge!


We are all very excited to have the opportunity to represent both our university as well as our thriving Canadian steel industry. As UMSB members we aim to relate our course work to real-world applications through further exposure to the Canadian steel industry and the civil engineering industry as a whole.

Some information about each of our team leads can be found below!

Arshdeep Chauhan (Co-Team Captain)

Arshdeep Chauhan is a final-year student in the Civil Engineering program at the University of Manitoba (U of M). This will be Arshdeep’s fourth year as a part of the University of Manitoba Steel Bridge Design Team. In previous years, Arshdeep was a part of the PR/ Socials, Drafting, Construction, and Video teams. This year Arshdeep is extremely honored to take on the role of Co-Captain and to continue exploring the field of project management using his prior teamwork expertise. 

Arshdeep’s interest in Civil Engineering began at an early age. He was always captivated by the concept of infrastructure design and had a strong desire to assist his father with building projects. Arshdeep has since opted to pursue a career in Civil Engineering, with a focus on structural design and project management. Arshdeep intends to use his industry experience from his past work term with Pier Solutions and Manitoba Transportation Infrastructure, to be an all-around team captain ensuring the team schedules are met and assisting wherever required.  Arshdeep is also a student member of the Co-op/IIP program at the U of M, Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba (EGM), the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) U of M Chapter. 

Outside of University, Arshdeep is a Co-Founder and Co-Host of a Winnipeg-based podcast called 204 Rise. Some of Arshdeep’s personal interests are playing soccer, running, being outdoors, and spending quality time with his family.

Sukh Sawhney (Co-Team Captain)

Sukh Sawhney is a final year Civil Engineering student at the Price Faculty of Engineering. This will be Sukh’s 4th year on the team. Prior to taking on the Co-Captain role she was the Design and Analysis Co-lead. She has an interest in structural engineering and the construction industry. She has more than 12 months of hands-on experience working as an Engineering Student for PCL construction within their major projects division in Winnipeg and special projects division in Edmonton.  

Sukh is a member of the Co-op/IIP program at the University of Manitoba and a student member of Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba.   

In her spare time, Sukh enjoys volunteering and spending time with her friends.  

Aram Lee (Co-Treasurer)

Aram is in her fourth year of civil engineering at the University of Manitoba. She is a co-treasurer on the University of Manitoba Steel Bridge Team (UMSB) this year. This year will be Aram’s third year with UMSB. In the previous year, Aram was part of the Construction, Design, and Analysis sub-teams. Aram is very excited to be on the team again since she gained valuable experiences such as participating in the Canadian National Steel Bridge Competition and also learned useful skills such as SAP 2000 with UMSB last year. 

She has gained work experience, including working in the civil engineering field as a summer student at Stantec and outside of the field as a printing operator and graphic designer. This varied working experience widened her perspective and benefited her by assisting in many civil engineering projects. 

Outside of school, Aram likes travelling, experiencing new things, and socializing with her loved ones. 

Max Anderson (Co-Treasurer)

Max Anderson is this year’s co-treasurer for UMSB. This will be Max’s 5th year of university and 2nd year on the Steel Bridge Team. Last year Max was apart of the Design and Analysis, Drafting, and Construction sub-teams and had the opportunity to go to the competition at Western University in London, Ontario. Max absolutely loved being part of the team last year, learned lots about the design process, and gained valuable technical experience. Before being accepted into civil engineering Max spent a year studying management, so this year when Max wanted to try a new role on the team, he was excited when the co-treasurer position became available because this was a new way that he could contribute to the team by using his past experience in management.

 This year Max looks forward to learning more about how the team is managed and contributing to the team behind the scenes while also being part of other sub-teams. Max is thrilled to be part of the team with so many others who are passionate about Steel Bridge. Max believes this is going to be a good year for the U of M Steel Bridge Team.

John Desousa (Design and Analysis Co-Lead)

John Desousa is a fifth-year Civil Engineering student at the University of Manitoba. This is John’s first year being a co-lead for the Design and Analysis sub-team and is John’s third year on the University of Manitoba Steel Bridge Team. John was previously a member of the Design and Analysis, Drafting, and Construction sub-teams, and was also an Executive Assistant for the 2022-2023 academic year. 

John wanted to pursue Civil Engineering because he was fascinated by how modern-day society relies on engineering application and design, with his main fields of interests being structural and water resource engineering. John has always been interested in mathematics and science and wants to apply his knowledge to contribute to a better society. 

Outside of engineering, John’s interests lie in playing the guitar, cooking, hiking, and going to the gym. John is looking forward to another year on the University of Manitoba Steel Bridge Team! 

Rhyz Abella (Design and Analysis Co-Lead)

Rhyz Abella is in the final year of his Civil Engineering Degree with a Structural stream specialization at the University of Manitoba. This is only Rhyz’s second year on the team where he served on the Design and Analysis team but has now chosen to Co-Lead the sub team for the 2023-2024 season. He believes he can use the experience he garnered from last year’s competition to produce a comprehensive bridge design that will win the competition. 

Rhyz’s interest in Civil Engineering was founded early in his childhood through his father, also a Civil Engineer. Learning from his experiences and absorbing his wisdom throughout his academic path, Rhyz built a passion for the career in hopes of continuing the journey his father paved. Rhyz’s fascination in how things are made and the love for the challenges this career posed, has led him to pursue Structural, and Systems Design. Rhyz has served in the Industrial Sector at FWS Group of Companies for two Co-op terms and plans to leverage his experience to ensure the D&A team works effectively, efficiently, and most importantly confidently.  

Outside of academics, Rhyz loves to be involved in his church’s leadership in hopes of taking on larger leadership roles geared toward Youth advocacy and support. He is also part of the church’s youth choir and plays the saxophone. Rhyz’s hobbies include going to the gym, basketball, badminton, and hiking and loves to relax with friends and play some video games.  

Phoebe Riddell (Aesthetics Co-Lead)

Phoebe is a 5th year civil engineering student at the University of Manitoba. This is Phoebe’s first year being an aesthetics co-lead and her second year on the team. She has experience on the Design and Analysis, Aesthetics, and Drafting teams. Phoebe attended competition last year and is excited to use ideas from competition to improve the aesthetics of the bridge and design team merchandise.  

Phoebe’s passion for science and mathematics prompted her to pursue a career in civil engineering. She is mainly interested in water resources engineering because of it’s connections to the natural world. Phoebe is also the president of the Canadian Water Resources Association Students and Young Professionals Chapter (CWRA SYP) and a member of Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba (EGM). 

In her free time, Phoebe enjoys baking, hiking, running, and going to the gym.

Kevin Nguyen (Aesthetics Co-Lead)

Kevin Nguyen is in his final year of his Civil Engineering Degree with a Geotech and hydraulics stream specialization at the University of Manitoba. This is Kevin’s third year on the team and he takes on the role of Aesthetic Co-Lead for the 2023-2024 academic year.  

Kevin was amazed by how Engineering made and built the world and decided to pursue Civil engineering with a passion to change the world around him. Along his career path, he discovers that the Civil engineering world is more extensive than what he has known before and learns to appreciate the work that has been done by other engineers. Kevin is an ambassador for the Price Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba. He has had the opportunity to work at Terracon Ltd. as a property maintenance and joined the Consultant Sector at Hatch Ltd. for two Co-op terms as a Geotechnical student. He plans to leverage his teamwork and high-performance task experience into his lead role to ensure the team works effectively, efficiently, and most importantly, confidently.   

Besides academic life, Kevin loves to be involved in his church’s leadership, hoping to take on more prominent leadership roles geared toward Youth advocacy and support. He is also part of the church’s worship team and plays the Drum. Kevin’s hobbies include gym, badminton, hiking, golfing, and spending time with God. 

Joy Beltran (Drafting Co-Lead)

Joy Beltran is in her final year of her Civil Engineering degree at the University of Manitoba. This will be Joy’s first year as an executive member for the University of Manitoba Steel Bridge Team as the Drafting Co-Lead. Joy possesses drafting experience gained from her position as a teaching assistant for CIVL 2830 – Graphics for Civil Engineers, and her multiple work terms at Stantec as a Geotechnical Summer Student, where she led all drafting projects in the department. Joy is a member of the Co-op/IIP program at the University of Manitoba and a student member of Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba. Her personal interests include reading, painting, and spending time with her friends.


Karina Buckingham (Drafting Co-Lead)

Karina Buckingham is a 5th year civil engineering student. This is her fourth year being a member of the steel bridge team and her third year being the drafting co-lead. She is excited to bring her previous knowledge and experience from the past couple years to this year’s bridge and to continue to learn more through this experience. 

Karina has wanted to pursue civil engineering for a long time and is focusing more on structural engineering and construction management. She is hoping to eventually use her degree to help in the improvement of infrastructure in Indigenous Communities.

Alexandr Polovinka (Construction Co-Lead)

Alexandr Polovinka is a third year Engineering student in the faculty of Civil Engineering. This is his third year on the team, and second year being construction lead. Alex went to competition last year and plans to apply ideas that he learnt at last year’s competition. He enjoys designing and building things, which is why Alex is excited to apply his experience towards perfecting our build sequence with Nathan during the construction part of competition this year. 

 In his free time, Alex tries to be an active person and enjoy lots of things outdoors. This includes soccer, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding and much more.  

Nathan Dillabough (Construction Co-Lead)

Nathan Dillabough is a Civil Engineering student in his final year at the University of Manitoba. He was a builder on the construction team during last year’s competition, and this year he will be putting his experience to use as a construction co-lead. 

Nathan loves to brainstorm with design and construction ideas, so he will be putting his best ideas for optimization forward, including design, materials, construction sequences and modification. Nathan comes from a construction background, having worked as a roofer, and field engineering assistant with Manitoba Transportation Infrastructure, as well as years of experience with household renovation and DIY projects. Nathan’s construction experience is the main reason he joined the construction team, and he is glad to have the opportunity to co-lead with Alex. 

When not in university, Nathan enjoys playing video games and watching NBA Basketball. Nathan also likes to learn new skills. He recently learned how to build his own PC, he also learned how 3D Print, and is currently learning how to weld.

Nadith Gunasekara (PR/Social Lead)

Nadith Gunasekara is a 5th year Civil Engineering student at the University of Manitoba. This will be Nadith’s second year competing on the University of Manitoba Steel Bridge Team.  

Nadith is excited to take charge as this year’s PR-Social lead. He plans on using his previous leadership skills and marketing experience to showcase this year’s steel bridge.  

Nadith has competed internationally at Science Fairs and has co-authored two scientific journals at the University of Manitoba. For work experience, Nadith has worked for the Manitoba government as a Level 2 Engineering Assistant.

Nadith spends most of his free time being physically active, some of the activities he enjoys include weightlifting and snowboarding.