One of the student organizations I’m in is the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), one of the many professional engineering organizations on campus. Unlike most of the other professional engineering clubs though, ASCE consists of student led design teams within the org. The design teams include Concrete Canoe, Environmental, Geotech Wall and Steel Bridge (which is what I’m on!). Given a new set of parameters each year, each team works throughout the year to create a product to enter into the Pacific Southwest Conference (PSWC) and compete against ~25 other schools. This year PSWC was held in Tempe, Arizona at Arizona State University from 4/12-4/14. Along with the design team competitions, there are also technical, sports and miscellaneous events held at PSWC.
This past week was my first time attending PSWC and it was definitely one of my favorite conferences I’ve attended! Having gone to multiple National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) conferences, I thought I had an idea of what PSWC would consist of. But looking back on it now, me thinking I knew what goes on at PSWC made no sense seeing as how NSBE doesn’t consist of any design teams, whereas that is a bulk of the membership of ASCE.
The first day of PSWC was on ASU’s campus and consisted of setting up the concrete canoe and bridge for display, technical presentations, the environmental design team competition, and soccer and basketball games. The second day was primarily focused on concrete canoe as it was full of canoe races, beach volleyball, design-build competition, tug-of-war, and a few other miscellaneous events. The steel bridge and geotech wall competition, ultimate frisbee, a couple other random events, and the awards banquet were held on the last day of the conference.
Even though the conference was packed with events, there was a lot of time for getting to know other members of ASCE I don’t usually see on campus- especially underclassman- and taking power naps outside!