Registration is now open for USC ASCE members to attend PSWC 2015! The Pacific Southwest Conference (PSWC) brings together over 1000 civil and environmental engineering students for a plethora of competitions, ranging from concrete canoe and steel bridge to dog house, environmental design, sports, and more. USC ASCE members can register for the conference and find all details here.
If you missed the PSWC Info Sessions we held last week, you can view our presentation slides here. Here’s a quick summary of the conference timeline and registration costs:
November 17th – membership payment due for reduced PSWC cost
December 5th – priority registration deadline
January 12-24th – info sessions
January 19 – April 7th – design & competition team meetings/practices
January 26th – final registration deadline
March 1st – team documents due
March 13th – competition teams finalized, individual schedules released
April 8-12th – PSWC 2015
Priority Registration – $160
Friday, December 5, 2014
Two-payment option available
Final – $180
Monday, January 26, 2015
All payments due in full
You MUST become a member of USC ASCE and ASCE nationals before registering for PSWC! $10 off if you pay your USC ASCE membership dues by Monday 11/17/14. Once you fill out the registration form, you can submit payments to our box in KAP 213 OR give to an E-Board member.
We’re pleased to announce our first “Tommy” sponsor for 2014-15: Hall & Foreman, a division of David Evans and Associates, Inc. Hall & Foreman provides engineering, surveying, and land planning solutions for clients throughout Southern California. As a sponsor, they will fund our design teams, allowing them to continue their steady growth in recent years at the PSWC 2015 competition in April.
Five USC representatives traveled to Panama City, Panama last week for the 2014 ASCE Global Engineering Conference. In addition to attending various technical sessions and networking with professionals, we visited several significant architectural and engineering sites, including the Panama Canal. For more information about the conference, read my post here.
We’re pleased to announce our first sponsor for the 2014-15 academic year: Patrick Lumber Company. Patrick Lumber is a lumber distributor, exporter, and re-manufacturer specializing in Vertical Grain Doug Fir, Western Red Cedar, Southern Yellow Pine, Hemlock, and more since 1915. As a Cardinal and Gold Sponsor, they will provide valuable funding to support our Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge projects and our USC team at the 2015 ASCE Pacific Southwest Conference.
Here’s a video of our co-ed sprint heat from the canoe races at PSWC 2014, courtesy of captain Jake’s parents. This was the first heat we’ve won in years! Our team took advantage of DiSCovery II’s straight speed and their extensive preparation on their way to qualify for the small final. The coed race consists of two down-and-back laps for a total distance of 400 meters.
We’ll be opening up nominations for next year’s USC ASCE Executive Board later this week, with voting occurring the following week. Interested in taking on a leadership role? Keep an eye out for the election emails!
I’ll start off by putting this into perspective and context. Historically, USC ASCE typically places top-three in one or two events at PSWC. Our 18-school conference, combined with perennial powerhouses in the concrete canoe competition, make our conference one of the most competitive of the 15 in the country.
Last year, our only victory, albeit significant, was our first-place environmental win. This year, going into the awards banquet we didn’t expect much, but were proud of our collective effort.
We started out the awards banquet with a 1st place victory in the Scavenger Hunt competition. Despite having a team less than half the size of many other schools, our focus and determination led us to win one of the most fun events, finding cool spots and landmarks around SDSU’s campus and throughout San Diego.
Steel Bridge won 3rd place in construction speed, completing the construction of their bridge in roughly 18 minutes. They also won 3rd in bridge lightness. Our team ended up placing 3rd overall, earning an invitation to the AISC/ASCE National Steel Bridge Competition in Akron, OH!
Last year, our Concrete Canoe team had their first canoe to successfully survive every race in three years, but placed 14th overall. Despite deductions in the oral presentation and final product categories due to technicalities, the Concrete Canoe team placed 6th overall and won 3rd in design paper!
Our paddling team also did well, placing 7th overall. Highlights included our women’s slalom team placing sixth, our 4-person co-ed team winning their heat, and our men’s sprint team winning the small final by less than a second to place 6th, after missing the big final qualification by only a second.
Considering where we were just a year ago, and the fact that most of this year’s USC ASCE PSWC team were first-time attendees, all of these results are spectacular. But as we were celebrating our successes, we won an award that we never expected: 3rd place overall for the entire conference!
The overall conference rank is determined by summing all of the weighted points earned for each event, including canoe and bridge, the smaller design teams, and the sports tournaments. To win, a school must be well-rounded, participate in every event, and fight to win individual games, even if they don’t win entire sports tournaments. USC ASCE has not placed this high in the overall conference rank since 1994. Our 3rd place finish would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our entire team.
Here’s the event placement breakdown that led to our 3rd-place overall finish:
This year, we proved that just because we have a smaller department, fewer resources, and less manpower than other schools doesn’t mean that we can’t be successful. Let’s celebrate our victories, analyze our weaknesses, and come back next year ready to take 1st!
At the PSWC Awards Banquet, all of the conference attendees gather for a nice dinner and to celebrate their victories at PSWC. We went in expecting to place top-three in maybe one of the smaller events. But we came out with our best year overall since 1994, placing 3rd overall thanks to the hard work of our entire team. Check out the details of our results here.
The Steel Bridge competition is one of the most exciting to watch, as schools race to assemble their bridge as quickly as possible, before applying loads and testing the deflections. There are countless deductions and possible disqualifications that the teams must avoid, and it isn’t uncommon for over one-third of the teams to be disqualified. Overall, our steel bridge team had a great competition this year, despite failing the lateral load test.