By Nick Cvetic, Pitt ASCE Vice President
The University of Pittsburgh American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter has had another successful year competing at the Ohio Valley Student Conference. This year, 47 students and 3 faculty advisors from the Swanson School of Engineering Civil & Environmental Engineering Department attended the student conference hosted by Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. This year’s conference was held across the Ohio border in the charming town of Lawrenceburg, Indiana during the first weekend of April. Students from 14 schools located throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and Western Pennsylvania participated at this year’s conference. Many aspects of this conference allowed us to take technical knowledge from the classroom and apply it to real-world situations - and we had a great time building camaraderie while doing that!
Without a doubt, the Pitt Concrete Canoe team made the most progress since last year. After passing a swamp test, this year’s patriotic-themed canoe (nicknamed Ol’ Glory) floated to some exciting finishes. Even after some injuries, Pitt was able to come in first place during our heats for the women’s sprint and co-ed sprint races. Finding other unconventional uses for building materials, we also participated in the Concrete Baseball Bat and Concrete Bowling Ball competitions.
After a trip to the Steel Bridge National Competition in 2015, the Pitt Steel Bridge team faced a significant amount of adversity prior to this year’s regional conference. Due to unforeseen conditions at our fabrication facility, it was unclear whether we would even be able to successfully compete at this year’s conference. However, our dedicated students were ultimately able to safely and effectively design, fabricate, and construct our bridge at this year’s regional competition.
Most awarded of all of our competition teams, the Environmental Team earned a 1st Place Overall Award. Additionally, the superb water filtration treatment system designed by Pitt students was given the 1st Place Award for Most Sustainable Apparatus, the 3rd Place Award for Most Creative Apparatus, the 3rd Place Award for Best Technical Review Paper, and the 3rd Place Award for Best Poster Display.
Furthermore, with the support of our unique professor Dr. Budny, the Surveying Team measured up for the 1st Place Surveying Award. An innovative housing plan design and a quality change order completion yielded a 3rd Place Civil Site Design Competition Award. Due to all of these successes and also due in part to our participation in the Balsa Wood Bridge Competition, the Geotechnical Competition, and the Technical Paper Presentation, Pitt ASCE took home the 3rd Place Overall Conference Award. This accomplishment made the long bus ride back to Pittsburgh seem much more enjoyable!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with each of the competition teams for their months of hard work and perseverance. Best wishes to everyone competing next year and carrying on traditions of excellence at the 2017 Ohio Valley Student Conference.