All posts by Erin Yamashita

2015-2016 Fourth General Meeting Recap

This past Thursday, USC ASCE hosted a general meeting with a special guest: Alan Hanson from Simpson Strong Tie! Alan gave us a brief history and background of the company, and also discussed various scholarship opportunities for juniors and seniors. We’re looking forward to the upcoming tour of Simpson Strong Tie!

After the presentation, we held officer elections for four executive board positions for next year: president, vice president, treasurer, and one of the sponsorship/conference co-chairs. The members in attendance were able to hear a bit from each candidate, and voting commenced. It was really great to hear everyone’s plans for next year, and so far, it looks like we’re going to have a really awesome executive board!

The meeting then closed out with an exciting game of Jeopardy! Members were split into three teams: the cows, ducks, and dogs (with buzzer sounds of moos, quacks, and woofs, respectively), and answered questions about USC, ASCE, Simpson Strong Tie, Engineering, and Construction. The game was extremely close, but the cows ended up winning it all with a risky wager in Final Jeopardy. All in all, it was a really informative and fun meeting, that hopefully gave everyone a little bit of a break as we gear up for PSWC!


Pour Day 2016

I first joined concrete canoe my sophomore year because I was drawn to the aesthetic component of designing and staining the canoe. Little did I know how much of a large part of my time at USC concrete canoe would become. Two and a half years and multiple canoes later, I’ve successfully finished my fifth–and hopefully final–pour day. The feeling is a little bittersweet, but first and foremost, my co-captain Karina and I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who showed up to help us out (this is the first year that the entire ASCE eboard came out!). We made a few changes in the weeks between our first and second pour days, and the small alterations really made a huge difference in the process and final product.

This year, our canoe is named That ’70s Canoe, and aptly displays the vibe and colorful culture of the 1970s. The rule change this year banned the use of stains, so we incorporated colors in our own way by creating a tie-dye design and using precast concrete tiles to display a rainbow mosaic peace sign and flowers in the interior of the canoe. The pour day process to get all of our aesthetic components done was a long one–captains showed up to KAP at 8AM with the rest of the team arriving around 9AM, and we covered the canoe to wet cure at 12AM. There were a lot of ups and downs throughout the day, but everyone pushed ahead, and we were able to successfully complete the process, with the remaining members topping the night off with some celebratory midnight ice cream sundaes!
As a graduating senior, I’ve been heavily involved in 5 pour days now, and although it is a rigorous process, it feels a little strange to have completed the last one. Concrete canoe has taken up a huge chunk of my free time for the past two and a half years, but it has allowed me to meet some super amazing people and some of my best friends (that can also help me with my homework). I’m extremely proud of what we accomplished so far this year, and I can’t wait for the months to come and for PSWC!

Concrete Canoe December 2015 Update

The first half of Concrete Canoe 2015-2016 is officially over! We’re really excited about all of the new members that got involved this semester, and can proudly say that we poured our practice canoe! We spent the first Saturday after classes ended working hard in the KAP basement to mix, pigment, and place concrete to create a full-scale practice canoe. With all of the rule changes and new ideas we’re trying this year, we wanted to practice some techniques before pouring the real canoe for competition! Not to mention, the practice canoe will give our paddlers a great chance to paddle in the canoe they’ll be racing in just 3 short months at PSWC. We had a group of great people helping out at practice pour day (warmest thanks to those who showed up!), and we’re all super excited to see what our colored concrete looks like once we de-mold the canoe when we get back to school in January!

Overall, it has been a great semester full of great ideas and great people, and we’re looking forward to see what next semester has in store for us!

Erin Yamashita
USC ASCE Concrete Canoe Captain

Mock Interviews with ASCE LA YMF

With the career fair a couple of weeks behind us and our resumes submitted to recruiters, the next step to getting that dream job or internship is the interview. Three guests from the Los Angeles Younger Members Forum (LA YMF) dropped by on Thursday night to give us some tips!

We began the night with a presentation by LA YMF President Phil Davies discussing some general hints for acing the interview, and then received a list of commonly asked interview questions that will definitely come in handy during our interview preparations. Our guest interviewers then split up into three separate rooms, and every USC ASCE member got a chance to have a one-on-one mock interview.
Overall, the event was extremely helpful; we will definitely be using everything we learned in our upcoming interviews! We would like to extend a huge thank you to the LA YMF members that took time out of their busy schedules to come out and help us!

Sign Up for Concrete Canoe 2014-2015!

Concrete canoe team members race their canoe at PSWC 2014.
Co-ed sprints.

Hey everyone,

My name is Erin, and Ethan and I are super excited to be concrete canoe captains this year! Along with our project manager, Tyler, we can’t wait to meet our members and start building an amazing canoe!

The canoe team is a great way to get involved in ASCE, hang out with some awesome people, and do some fun, hands-on engineering. Through concrete canoe, I was able to meet and become better friends with a lot my fellow civil engineers. We spent a lot of time together, and bonded over two pour days, canoe sanding, paddling practices, and late night finishing right before leaving for San Diego. All of this culminated in one of the most rewarding moments–USC ASCE winning third place overall at PSWC!

If you’re interested in joining the concrete canoe team, we’ll be having our first meeting this Friday, September 12 at 2PM. We’ll be gathering in the KAP lobby and finding a room from there. If you can’t make it out on Friday and want to be added to the mailing list or have any questions, feel free to shoot us an email at We’ll be happy to talk to anyone and keep everyone posted on our upcoming sub-team meetings and paddling practices.

Looking forward to a great year!