ASCE 2012 Tourney

TTU’s civil and environmental engineering team places eighth at ASCE conference

A team of Tennessee Tech civil and environmental engineering students competed at the American Society of Civil Engineers Southeastern Student Conference in Miami in March, with Tennessee Tech placing eighth overall among the 24 schools at the competition.

This is the third straight year TTU has attended the conference, and Tennessee Tech placed eighth overall among the 24 schools at the competition.

Designed to help foster collaboration and teamwork, the tournament gives students a chance to gain hands-on experience in solving engineering problems. Within tight boundaries and specifications, students compete in various events that subject them to the environmental, hydrology, structural and geotechnical aspects of civil engineering.

The TTU team placed first in Concrete Bocce Ball, third in Environmental Engineering, fourth in Hydraulics, seventh in Professional Paper presentation, ninth in Mystery, ninth in Surveying, 12th in Balsa Tower and 15th in Concrete Testing.

The Steel Bridge competition has always been a cornerstone of the conference, but TTU’s entry was disqualified for linear sway.

"Our goal was to leave all surprises at Tennessee Tech without taking them with us, as in the past," said Mark Davis, academic support associate in TTU’s civil and environmental engineering department.

"This bridge was assembled multiple times, tested, loaded and measured before we left the campus. The assembly team performed flawlessly with 2- 15 second penalties in construction (and) no penalties in member design, size or connections. It wasn’t until we got home and started to review the data that we discovered that officials had directed the team to overload the bridge back span, causing the bridge to sway .030 outside the designated target. At that time we appealed the discussion, but the damage had been done."

Despite the disqualification, TTU’s team received the Company Choice award, a nod to the design of their bridge being first choice for real-world construction.

Another favorite is the Concrete Canoe competition, where teams build a canoe of lightweight concrete. The seemingly-unfloatable boat has to not only be water-worthy, but able to compete. The TTU team fabricated their canoe with fiberglass reinforced concrete, with half-inch thick walls and carbon fiber and stainless steel for additional stiffness. The 300-pound canoe gave the team a sixth place finish.

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