ASCE student chapters to meet at The Citadel
By Cadet Nelson E. Dove
Civil engineering students from across the Carolinas and Georgia will gather April 6-9 at The Citadel for the American Society of Civil Engineers' Carolina's Conference.
This year's theme is "Bridging the Gap: Civil Engineer Student to Professional Engineer."
Between 250 and 300 students from The Citadel, Georgia Tech, North Carolina A&T, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Duke University, Clemson University, the University of South Carolina, and Trident Technical College will take part in competitions designed to challenge the students in stress design and problem solving using science and mathematics.
Friday, April 7
Concrete Canoe Race
Clemson University is the favorite in this event, having competed at the national level multiple times. This year's contest will take place at James Island County Park. Students began working in advance on molds for the canoes, mixture design for the concrete and constructing the vessel. The canoe must float and be competitive in races that test endurance and speed. The competition is judged on a design paper, oral presentation, aesthetics of the final product, and race results.
Also during the concrete canoe contest, each school's submission of their own T-shirt design for the conference will be judged and students will take part in a flag football tournament. T-shirts will be judged on creativity and consistency with the slogan and principles of ASCE.
The students, after exhausting themselves from the canoe races and football will head for The Citadel Beach House for some good company and to swap stories about all-night engineering projects and the last competition of the day.
The Knobmore Challenge is so named because only freshman and sophomores can compete in a contest to construct renditions of World Trade Center's replacement skyscraper using exactly 1,606 pieces of Lego's©. Each group is judged on their submitted design proposal, presentation, construction height and time and aesthetics. This contest will take place at The Citadel Beach house Friday evening, where there also will be dinner and socializing.
Saturday, April 8
Steel Bridge Competition
Saturday begins early at The Citadel - just like most days on campus - with the steel bridge building competition at 7 a.m. in McAlister Field House. Students from their respective colleges must design and build a 20-foot bridge that sits approximately 2- to 3-feet high and can withstand a load relative to its weight.
How can students transport an enormous bridge all the way from their college campuses? They don't. Every bridge must be in pieces and assembled on site as part of the competition. The contest is judged on aesthetics and bridge design standards for construction, clearance and dimension regulations and load.
Also on Saturday, each college will present its paper on the concrete canoe building and design along with their Daniel W. Mead paper. That begins at 8 a.m. in Grimsley Hall. The concrete canoe presentation showcases the design and procedure that students used to build their canoes and the Meade paper is a technical paper on risk management and engineering and is to be completed by a student before arriving for the conference. The overall judging reflects that of a technical term paper a college student would submit for one of his or her classes.
Environmental/Hydraulic Engineering contest
This competition, which starts at 9 a.m. in LeTellier Hall, is designed to test how well each school's team can construct a water filtration system to simulate the filtration of polluted storm water. At the competition, each team is given the materials needed to solve the polluted water problem. None of the students competing have any prior knowledge of what materials they will receive. Students are judged on the cost of the materials they use as well as how well they cleaned the water. This competition stresses an important quality in engineering: being able to solve a problem using only the materials you have and through environmental engineering knowledge.
Based as a Jeopardy© style tournament, this event consists of four-person teams answering a series of challenging mathematical, basic science and engineering questions. The Quiz Bowl begins at 10 a.m. in Grimsley Hall. Winners of preliminary round go on to compete in a final contest where the college team with the highest score wins.
The mystery contest is just that - a mystery. It will, however, begin at 1:30 p.m. in McAlister Field House and will test students' problem solving skills against a clock. Each school's team consists of one member from each academic class.
The Balsawood Bridge Contest will test students' ability to design the lightest bridge that can support the most weight. Starting at 2 p.m. in LeTellier Hall, each college will be given dimensions, length, height, and roadway width, for a bridge to be built from balsa wood. Each bridge must be able to hold a minimum of 100 pounds. The one that is the lightest and holds the most weight will be declared the winner. Oh, and there's one more thing - all bridges must be 2 ½ feet long and no more than a half foot high and be held together with glue.
The Engineering Expo at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the Regimental Commander's Riverview Room and the awards banquet in Coward Hall will conclude the conference. The expo will feature displays and representatives from multiple engineering firms and companies will be on hand to talk about career opportunities.
The awards banquet, which begins at 7 p.m. inside the mess hall, will feature William Frederick Marcuson III, ASCE president and Citadel Class of 1963, as the keynote speaker. Following his address awards for the top placing teams in each event and the top three overall team winners will be presented.