WVU to Host ASCE Virginias' Conference; Concrete Canoe, Steel Bridge competition highlight events on tap
Students from West Virginia, Virginia and Washington, D.C., will converge in Morgantown on Friday and Saturday, April 15-16, as West Virginia University hosts the American Society of Civil Engineers annual Virginias’ Conference. The event provides students with the chance to gain hands-on experience by competing in civil and environmental engineering-related competitions.
“We are honored to be hosting this year’s event,” said Kylea DeMarco, president of WVU’s student chapter of ASCE. “We are looking forward to showcasing West Virginia University, the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, the City of Morgantown and the state of West Virginia to our fellow competitors.”
Joining teams from WVU in this year’s competition are more than 300 competitors from the following schools: Bluefield State College, Catholic University of America, Fairmont State University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Howard University, Marshall University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, Virginia Military Institute, Virginia Tech and West Virginia University Institute of Technology.
This year’s conference has a “green theme” which focuses on sustainability. “We have really decreased the amount of paper used by utilizing technology for electronic correspondence with the schools and judges,” said DeMarco.
Two national-level qualifying events highlight the competition. The concrete canoe competition, which will be held on Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at Cheat Lake Park, is comprised of four main categories that are equally weighted: a technical paper, an oral presentation, the product and display, and five races. The races include the women’s slalom/endurance, men’s slalom/endurance, women’s sprint, men’s sprint and co-ed sprint. The winner will represent the conference at the national competition, scheduled for June 16-18 at the University of Evansville in Illinois.
“Hosting the conference this year has given our concrete canoe team extra motivation,” said Chris Newman, ASCE vice president and co-captain of the canoe team. “Our team has worked very hard to embrace the ‘green’ conference theme. We are proud to have a canoe mix design made of 100 percent recycled aggregate.” The WVU concrete canoe team is sponsored by Poraver, Alcon Concrete, Strata Mine Services and Appalachian Mining and Engineering.
The steel bridge design and construction competition replicates a prototype of an actual steel bridge. Teams are required to build their bridge on-site in a timed construction event. Upon completion, the bridge is loaded both vertically and laterally and the corresponding deflections are measured. The bridge is judged on overall weight, construction, time, cost efficiency, economy and deflection.
WVU’s steel bridge team is captained by Greg Donnelly, ASCE treasurer. “We would like to thank our team sponsors, Contracting Engineer Consultants Inc. and Fastenal. They really helped to make this year’s design a success,” said Donnelly.
The steel bridge competition will begin with aesthetics judging on Friday from 8-11 a.m., at the Morgantown Event Center parking garage. The competition moves into Ballroom A at the Event Center on Saturday, with events running from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The winners advance to the national competition, held at Texas A&M University, May 20-21.
Other events scheduled for the conference include a recycled mini-golf design/build competition and concrete bowling, which will take place Friday from 8:30 a.m.-noon on the lawn adjacent to CEMR’s Mineral Resources Building on the Evansdale Campus.
WVU-ASCE are partnering with the Fashion, Design and Merchandising program and the Landscape Architecture/Environmental Design program in the Davis College of Agriculture Natural Resources and Design for the green building design, held at the Waterfront Place Hotel on Saturday. They also worked with the student chapter of Engineers Without Borders to develop an environmental competition. A career fair will also be held in conjunction with the events on Saturday at the Morgantown Event Center.
“The conference is a wonderful opportunity for students to use their technical skill in unique projects,” said Dr. Radhey Sharma, chair, WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “I would like to thank the event sponsors for their support of this competition: Orders Construction; West Virginia University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Kokosing Construction Company; West Virginia Department of Highways; West Virginia University College of Engineering and Mineral Resources; Thrasher Engineering Inc.; CAS Structural Engineering; and Michael Baker Jr.”
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CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon, CEMR