UIC’s student chapter of ASCE bounced back to the top of the rankings at the recent the Great Lakes Student Conference in Wisconsin. After a rough 2016 performance, UIC placed fourth overall – out of 19 school – during the conference on March 30 to April 1 at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) members competed against 18 universities during the annual conference, which is made up of schools from northern and central Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and Indiana, and it is one of the largest regions based on number of schools.
The schools competed in a set of eight Civil Engineering-based competitions. The UIC team won two the eight competitions and made significant advances in the highly-competitive Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge competitions.
“We earned first place in the Environmental Competition and the Mystery Design Competition,” said Diana Briones, president of ASCE UIC. “Both our concrete canoe and our steel bridge had solid performances this weekend.”
The Environmental Competition team worked closely with Professor Khodadoust for several weeks before the conference to prepare for the competition and was made up of Haley Wittenkeller, Yousef Dana, Qudus Lawal, Jonathan Diaz, and Mandy Carlson. The Mystery Design team, which UIC also won first place in 2016, consisted of Nalin Naranjo, Gerardo Licon, Austin Bernat, Andrew Boysen, and Christopher Porter.
While the team did not advance to the national competition with its canoe or bridge, the members are excited about the advancements they made at the regional level and the input that came from younger students.
“The competition was different from last year in a positive way where our bridge did not break and our canoe did not crack,” added Katarzyna Sitko, ASCE UIC vice president. “We were constantly supporting each other throughout the day. Communication throughout the group was constant and no one got left out.”
“We performed better than last year and we had more underclassmen involved in the competitions,” said Briones. “We all worked together to support each other at the different competitions. I learned that having fun and enjoying the experience of competing is more valuable than any awards we could receive.”
Being well prepared, working as a team, and enjoying the experience is very important for the team if they want to compete better next year. This is more important than ever as UIC is slated to host the 2018 ASCE Great Lakes Student Conference in Chicago.
“This will be a huge undertaking and we are expecting to host about 550 participants,” said Briones.
Learn more about ASCE at UIC at https://sites.google.com/site/asceuic/home.