2016 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Great Lakes Student Conference was hosted earlier this month by the engineering students of Illinois Institute of Technology. They did a great job coordinating 7 unique design competitions involving 18 regional Universities over the course of 3 days.
Students prepare for some of the competitions for many months in advance, in hope to make it to the National Finals in Houston, TX.
In one event, Concrete Canoe competition, students design and build a full scale canoe using concrete as a principle building material, canoes are judged on the material & aesthetic design as well has how they perform under the stress of a race. Students in the Steel Bridge competition design, fabricate, and erect a steel bridge within given specifications, they are judged on display, construction speed, lightness, stiffness, construction economy, and overall performance.
Students could also take part in smaller scaled competitions such as “Mystery Design”. Mike Elliott from our office participated as a volunteer judge in a competition that requires teams to solve a problem that is not unveiled until the competition begins. Teams have a limited amount of time and resources to plan, execute, and test a solution. This year the team that could build the tallest tower to hold a golf ball at the top for 10 seconds would win. The building supplies such as tape, string and other simple materials were picked up a numerous stations spread throughout campus. Once the materials were gathered, students were only given 15 minutes to build a winner. This year it required a tiebreaker between UW-Milwaukee and Bradley!