CSU, Chico News

California State University, Chico Hosts American Society of Civil Engineers Mid-Pacific Student Conference

Date: 04-17-2017

Michele Chandler
Public Affairs
Rachel Simmons
College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management

California State University, Chico’s College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management (ECC) will host the American Society of Civil Engineers 2017 Mid-Pacific Student Conference on April 20–22.

The event is expected to draw 610 students from 14 universities, including three schools in China and one from Canada. In addition, 30 civil engineers will attend as judges for the conference, which CSU, Chico last hosted in 2011.

Student teams will compete in several categories, including steel bridge construction, where teams assemble a bridge on the plaza in front of CSU, Chico’s Student Services Building on Friday, April 21. Once completed, each bridge—with a finished length of up to 30 feet—will then be loaded with 2,500 pounds of steel to test its weight-bearing capacity. Teams will be judged “on how fast they build, how much weight the bridge loads and how much it moves or deflects,” said Lauren Pitcher, conference chair.

Student teams will also race canoes constructed from concrete. The canoes, built and tested by student teams prior to the conference, will be displayed at the CSU, Chico campus on the lawn near Glenn Hall on Friday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to noon. The teams will then race their canoes on Saturday, April 22 at Black Butte Lake Recreation Area, 19225 Newville Road in Orland, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On Friday, April 21, student teams also will demonstrate their water treatment expertise, with each team treating dirty water using household items. The student teams will build their treatment systems in front of the judges and must treat the polluted water under a deadline. The water treatment competition will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon in Trinity Commons on campus.

Other areas of competition during the three-day event include transportation, water research and constructing a retaining wall. The top two winning teams from the steel bridge construction and concrete canoe race competitions will advance to national competitions being held later this year.

In addition to plaques, prize money and the opportunity to compete on a national stage, the Mid-Pacific Student Conference “is all about learning,” said Pitcher, a junior civil engineering major who has been involved in the event for the past three years. “I’ve learned an incredible amount, and it just makes you a better student, person and professional.”

For more information about the conference, please call Rachel Simmons, external relations coordinator at the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management, at 530-898-4925.

People with questions regarding accessibility at any of the events can contact the University’s Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.