Hey there!This past week I competed in the Associated Schools of Construction National Competition in Sparks, Nevada! It was a long week full of hard work but I had a great time and learned so much! This competition is part of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) SPARKS student organization group on campus. There were eight teams that competed from USC totally over 50 students! Each team competed in a different competition such as Preconstruction, Heavy Civil, Commercial, LEED and many more. At the competition there was over 1200 participants from all over the US ranging from students to faculty and even industry members – it was pretty awesome! Although the object of the competition is hard to explain, the best I can relate it to is a case study for civil engineers.
When I tell people that I am studying civil engineering the typical response I get is “Oh so you want to build bridges and buildings?” I usually smile and nod in confirmation. However there is so much more that civil engineers do. Before coming to USC I really had no idea about all of the different tracks just within civil engineering such as water resources, structural, environmental – just to name a few. It is one of the more diverse majors within Viterbi.
Civil engineers are responsible for designing and building the infrastructure we use in our daily lives. This includes roads, bridges, buildings, airports, other transportation networks, and water and power systems among other things. In my four years as a civil engineering student at USC I’ve learned about the properties of various building materials and then used those materials to design buildings and run experiments on their applications.
Hey guys! Not only has winter break already ended but also the first week of school is over! 2013 was a great year but I am thinking that 2014 is going to be even better – it’s off to a great start so far!
It’s hard to believe this is my last semester of undergrad at USC! I had a great break at home in San Diego, which was even more exciting because the Chargers made the NFL playoffs. It was great to be able to attend several Chargers games with my family throughout December. I spent the rest of my break with family and catching up with my high school friends. Now I’m rested and ready for an awesome second semester senior year, and it’s great to be back at USC!
Sooo we’ve all got to play around with microscopes back in middle school, but what fun was looking at a strand of hair over and over again?? I realize how dorky this sounds but I never realized how amazing the microscopic world really is until starting this class back in August. Our class meets twice a week for about an hour and a half, but we get to use compound microscopes for two hours in lab each Wednesday. I have discovered a whole new world under a 100x magnifying lens. So far we’ve had the chance to study live prokaryotic organisms, different strains of algae, and even types of bacteria used as biological indicators. It’s awesome actually being able to identify the different organelles and watch the organisms interact with eachother.
Every Thursday afternoon, I make the trek over to Kaprielian Hall – home to the Sonny Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering Department – and head down to the basement classroom to take a seat in my favorite class of the semester: Mechanical Behavior of Materials, CE 334L lab. The lecture itself is earlier on in the week with Professor Masri, leaving our three hours on Thursdays to be dedicated solely to the lab portion of the class.
I can’t believe I’ve made it to my senior year at USC. This year looks like it’ll be the best one yet. So far, I’ve been Viterbi flag bearer for Convocation, turned 21 (yay!), helped plan SWE events, and helped recruit the newest member class for my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta! Yesterday was our first USC football home game, and I had a blast tailgating with my friends and watching the game. It was a great break from the rest of my weekend, which included many study group meetings. This semester I am taking four undergraduate Civil Engineering classes and my first grad class! My fall schedule is really nice because I don’t have classes on Wednesdays or Fridays! Continue reading
Second from the left, laying on its side, is the Lucius Spar, the other three structures are known as a hull. Next to the spar is the Heavy Lifting Device, a stationary crane that is capable of lifting 13,000 tons.
Pretty awesome right!? This is Kiewit Offshore Services in Ingleside, Texas – located right on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico – a company that builds offshore oil and gas platforms. These platforms are gigantic; the one on the far right will be the largest offshore platform in the world! I am working with the structural group on the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Lucius Spar project . I am halfway done with my internship and loving every second of it! I work specifically on material take offs which is another way of saying that I help estimate man hours and costs for each drawing, create punch lists for the topside (the production unit on the spar), material management, work schedules and progressing. One of my favorite aspects of this job is that I have the opportunity to not only work with the engineers (structural, piping and cost), but also get to work in the field with the lead men and superintendents on my project. I talk to the lead men on a daily basis, figure out what materials they are missing on the topside, find the missing material or have it recut and repainted. We like to call this “fueling the field”.
A stiffner plate! Recut and ready to be sent to paint!
During the second week of my internship, I was lucky enough to experience the Main Deck Float. The main deck of our giant platform had to be carried from our laydown in the yard roughly 150 yards to the topside and then lowered down on the Production Deck which stands sixty feet tall. This float took eight cranes and about five hours. As the Main Deck was being lowered on top of the Production, our team was standing on the production deck watching for any clashes amongst the parts that might occur. Luckily there were only a few. It was an incredible experience that took a lot of teamwork and communication.
On the weekends when I am not working, I have learned how to wind surf, two-step and even skeet shoot. It’s been a great summer and I am looking forward to the rest of it!