The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently hosted the Spring 2011 Great Lakes Student Conference, April 1st-2nd.
The ASCE Great Lakes Student Conference (GLSC) is an annual competition in which members from 18 universities participate in various engineering events, including a concrete canoe race, a steel bridge competition, design presentation, and other demonstrations of civil engineering knowledge and creativity.
Friday, April 1st included the concrete canoe and surveying competitions. The canoe competition challenged students to design, fabricate, and race canoes made of concrete.
The surveying competition judged a three-person team in the accuracy of pacing, taping, and use of total station surveying equipment. Both April 1st events took place at Veterans Park near the lakefront.
“The Great Lakes Student Conference is exciting for engineers because it challenges our knowledge as well as how we apply what we know,” said ASCE Great Lakes Student Conference Chair, Chad Shihata.
The additional five events: steel bridge, technical paper, environmental, geotechnical and mystery design competitions, took place on Saturday, April 2nd on the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee campus.
The steel bridge competition was a scaled down bridge based on a given set of conditions. The teams must then construct and load the bridges up to 2500 pounds. The technical paper is an individual competition, with each school submitting a paper and presenting on the report card of American Infrastructure.
The environmental competition involved designing, mixing, and casting a concrete specimen, which is pervious to water, yet is capable of “trapping” vegetable oil. The geotechnical competition involved creating a mock floodwall (defined as a structure capable to holding back a pool of water) using a limited amount of “funds,” materials will be “purchased,” including: clay, mesh reinforcement, and balsa wood.
The final competition, mystery design, was creative competition where participants were challenged to design something on-the-spot in a limited amount of time.
Shihata added, “This is what engineers love to do. The competitions allow us to apply and challenge ourselves in a way to prepare us for obstacles in the industry. It’s really a beneficial event to all of us.”
Over 400 students from Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana attended the conference. Milwaukee is one of the most progressive areas in the Midwest for the field of civil engineering. The American Society of Civil Engineers Milwaukee chapter was excited and proud to host the 2011 GLSC.