All posts by Nick Halsey

2015 Workshop for Student Chapter Leaders

Six USC ASCE members represented our chapter this past weekend at the ASCE Workshop for Student Chapter Leaders (WSCL) in Seattle, WA. WSCL brings together students from Regions 8 and 9 of ASCE, representing 36 universities in the western United States. WSCL is part of the multi-regional leadership conference that brings together student chapters, younger member groups, and branch and section leadership.

WSCL 2015 (Seattle)On Friday we attended several student sessions designed to share knowledge, ideas, and best practices between chapters. A networking lunch offered the opportunity to meet more students as well as professional engineers, before a keynote presentation by ASCE President-elect Mark Woodson. In the afternoon we did break-out sessions to focus on particular topics such as fundraising, membership, and issues specific to smaller chapters.

We also participated in regional break-out sessions, where we met with leaders at all levels from our geographical region (Metropolitan Los Angeles Branch in the LA Section in Region 9). Our primary focus was to strengthen inter-chapter interactions and our coordination with the Los Angeles Younger Member Forum. To that end, we’re hosting a beach day next weekend with UCLA and CSULB.

In the evening we joined students from a couple of other student chapters (UCLA and CSULB) for dinner in Bellevue, before heading to downtown Seattle for the scavenger hunt organized by the Seattle Younger Member Forum. Newly-formed friendships continued strengthening deep into the night.

11001838_792785960807099_2477080442182864052_nSaturday started with a networking breakfast accompanied by an extremely insightful presentation about generational issues that are likely to be encountered in current workplace environments. Students were also given an opportunity to do a Q & A session with the top ASCE leadership – the president, president-elect, and executive director. Another networking lunch, a leadership presentation, and several other sessions rounded out the day.

Once the conference was officially over, we still had about 24 hours to explore Seattle. Highlights include Pike Place Market, the Original Starbucks, socializing with students from other ASCE chapters, reconnecting with old friends at the University of Washington and exploring their campus, and seeing the Space Needle.

Overall, WSCL 2015 was an amazing experience. We met countless peers and professionals, explored new ideas for expanding our chapter’s goals and capabilities, and explored an awesome, quickly-growing city. I strongly recommend attending a future WSCL – keep an eye out for details about next year’s conference in Anchorage, Alaska (February 22-23, 2016) and the 2017 conference in Los Angeles.

USC PSWC 2015 Team Announced

We’ve finalized our USC team for PSWC 2015! We’ll be bringing 52 members to compete in concrete canoe, steel bridge, environmental designgeowall, transportation, dog house, surveying, concrete bowling, and many more events.

This is the largest competition team we’ve brought to PSWC in recent history, and we’re confident that our excellent members can put up a good fight in defending our 3rd place overall finish from last year’s conference in San Diego. Here’s a comparison between our teams from last year and this year:

2014 USC Team 2015 USC Team
Team Size 41 52
Freshmen 1 7
Percent Female 46% 48%
Formal Design Teams 4 8
Distance to PSWC 125 miles 500 miles
Total Cost for USC ASCE $11,100 $16,800
Corporate Sponsorship $750 $3,350 and counting

Despite facing a further, more expensive trip, our chapter has come together to bring a larger, more diverse team. Now the hard work is kicking in as our eight major and secondary design teams design and build their projects. It’s never too late to get involved, even if you aren’t coming to PSWC!

Dog House team members brainstorm and sketch designs during our meeting.
Dog House team members brainstorm and sketch designs during our meeting.

Sponsorship Announcement: PENTA Building Group

We are pleased to announce that the PENTA Building Group has become a “Cardinal & Gold” Sponsor of USC ASCE for 2014-15 with their donation of $1,000. The PENTA Building Group is a general contractor that specializes in hospitality/entertainment, gaming, education, healthcare, and tribal. They recently finished the major renovation of the SLS Hotel & Casino, formerly known as the Sahara. PENTA will also be on USC campus this coming semester, remodeling part of the USC Davidson Conference Center at the corner of Jefferson/Figueroa. Although PENTA is based in Las Vegas, they also have regional offices in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Tulsa. PENTA is excited to be sponsoring our USC team in April at the 2015 ASCE Pacific Southwest Conference.

penta

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Learn more at our sponsorship page.

USC ASCE PSWC 2015 Registration Information

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 looking forward to an awesome conference and to defending our 3rd place overall finish from last year! Email uscasce@usc.edu if you have any questions.

Sponsor Announcement: Hall & Foreman Inc.

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.

hall-and-foreman

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Learn more at our sponsorship page.

2014 ASCE Global Engineering Conference Panama in Pictures

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.

Announcing Our First Sponsor for 2014-15: Patrick Lumber Company

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.

patrick-lumber

 

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Learn more at our sponsorship page.

 

PSWC 2014 Co-ed Canoe Race Heat

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.