Engineering Students From 12 Colleges To Compete At University of Virginia Conference This Weekend

April 6, 2006 — Ever hear the story about the steel bridge and the concrete canoe?

Both will be in town this weekend when the University of Virginia's Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers hosts the 2006 Virginias Conference on April 6-8.

The event, which is entirely student run, will gather roughly 300 civil engineering students and mentors from 12 schools throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania to go head-to-head in a variety of contests, including competitions for the best steel bridge and concrete canoe.

In the steel bridge competition, contestants design and build a one-tenth size scale model of a steel bridge spanning a river. The bridge will be judged on its durability, constructability, usability, stiffness, construction speed, efficiency, economy and aesthetics. Steel bridge judging will take place in Scott Stadium.

“I had a great time designing and building the bridge,” said University of Virginia team member Raymond Tran, 21, a fourth-year civil engineering student from Burke, Va. “It reminded me of metal shop back in the day. We're looking to win, and I hope our competitors are bringing their ‘A’ game because we are bringing ours.”

In the concrete canoe competition, students build a concrete watercraft and launch it at Walnut Creek Park on Old Lynchburg Road. The canoe will be judged on flotation, design, safety and ability to carry passengers. Successfully launched canoes will then race.

Other teams will square off in various contests including surveying at the University of Virginia’s Dell Pond on Emmet Street next to Ruffner Hall, problem solving, balsa wood construction and environmental design. Professional civil engineers from industry, including advisory board members of the U.Va. Civil Engineering Department, will be among the judges.

The winners of steel bridge and concrete canoe contests will advance to national competitions. While the students vie for advancement and trophies, the conference is also designed for professional development and networking.

The conference is open to student chapters of the ASCE and their schools. U.Va’s chapter is part of the Blue Ridge Branch of the ASCE. It has been six years since U.Va. hosted the annual conference.

For more information, visit website, or call Kimberly Olsen at (434) 924-7854.

Friday, April 7, 2006
8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Concrete Canoe Presentations Campbell Hall 158
1:30 – 4 p.m. Hardy Cross Presentations Rodman Room (Thornton A wing)
8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Steel Bridge Competition Scott Stadium
9 a.m. – noon Environmental Competition Thornton D221
9 a.m. – noon Surveying The Dell
1:30 – 4 p.m. Balsa Wood Structural Event Thornton D221
2:30 – 5 p.m. Technical Problem Solving Campbell Hall 158
5 – 6 p.m. Business Meeting Mech. 205
7 – 8 a.m. Canoe Unloading
8 a.m. - ?? Aesthetics Judging and Swamp Test
?? – 2 p.m. Races