my CANstruction Experience: the benefits of giving back

When the opportunity arose for me to represent CE Solutions and join a 2016 Canstruction team, it appealed to me for two reasons. Most importantly, all the work that goes into the project is for one purpose: to help people in need by donating thousands of cans to Gleaners Food Bank. In addition, throughout my path to structural engineering, I had never participated in a competition quite like this one, where I could apply my skills to help build a structure made solely from cans. 

My participation in Canstruction proved to be meaningful far beyond my expectations. Representing CE Solutions and working alongside our partners from InterDesign and Mattcon General Contractors in this competition benefited me on both a professional and personal level.  


  • As the structural engineer in charge from our office, I was able to practice management skills such as communication, coordination and time management. This was great experience for me because it applies to responsibilities I have as a project engineer.
  • Creating professional relationships with other participants beyond my teammates was also a significant benefit from my participation. Canstruction attracts several firms in the field. It was great for me to meet some of the individuals that work for some of the other companies. 


  • Creating closer relationships with my team members at CE Solutions was certainly rewarding.
  • I was able to meet people who work in other industries, like food (Kroger) and professional sports (Pacers).
  • Canstruction was located on the grounds of the Indiana State Fair, so I had the opportunity to experience the fair for the first time, which was an adventure on its own. 

I relished the challenge of making the Colts’ mascot, Blue, out of 3,158 cans with my team, and we took home three awards—Structural Ingenuity, Juror’s Choice and People’s Choice. I encourage firms to participate in this event in the years to come to create lasting relationships and give back to the community!


Jessica Barrios
Project Manager, CE Solutions