Category Archives: Events

Beach Day!

This past weekend, USC ASCE teamed up with UCLA to have a joint beach day! We spent the afternoon at Santa Monica hanging out and getting to know each other, as well as playing sports like volleyball and ultimate frisbee. We can’t wait to compete in sports at PSWC, and also see our friends from UCLA! Check out some pictures of the day!

ASCE at the Viterbi E-Week Kickoff Carnival

This past Tuesday, the KIUEL at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering hosted the E-Week Kickoff Carnival on the engineering school quad. The fair featured many activity booths, an In-N-Out truck, a bouncy house,  and more! The carnival represented the kickoff event to an E-Week filled with bubble soccer, quiz bowls, and Viterbi Ball.

ASCE hosted two fun activities: giant tumbling towers and graham cracker house building! At the tumbling tower students put their statics judgement to the tests, stacking 2x4s to new heights. When the towers became tall and wobbly, students gathered around to see who would make the failing move! At the graham cracker station, future architects used icing to construct three-dimensional art… and maybe eat it too.

USC Village Job Walk Spring 2016

Pics from the job walk!

USC Village Job Walk Spring 2016

Panorama of the central plaza

A handful of students were given the opportunity to visit the construction site of the USC Village and get an inside look at the operations happening behind the fences.

The good thing about having construction going on so close to campus is the opportunity to see it up close and in person. At around 3:15 on a warm Friday afternoon, USC civil engineering students of all ages huddled into the main construction office on the south side of the site. There we were given an overview of the project and what all was being accomplished. It was fascinating to see the rows upon rows of construction plans and schematics within the office.

McCarthy Honors College Nameplate
McCarthy Honors College Nameplate

The tour began with a stroll to the side of Building 4, the future McCarthy Honors College. We were shown trenches dug for electrical and utility lines, and the etched out nameplate of the structure.

Next, we walked around to the west side of the building, and we were shown where the exclusive dining hall would be located. The huge openings will eventually be filled with giant stained glass windows.

Building 4 Dining Hall
Building 4 Dining Hall

After that, we took a scenic route to Building 1, the MEP building of the village. MEP stands for mechanical, electrical, and power, and Building 1 is one of the few structures that uses CMU for its construction. Inside, there were numerous water pipes installed, and it will house many of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the Village. In my opinion, this building was one of my favorites. It had plenty of mechanical detail and intricate features that I found interesting.

Interior of Building 1
Interior of Building 1

Once we left Building 1, we made our way between Buildings 9 and 4 to the central plaza of the Village. Building 9 will be a future location for undergraduate housing while Building 4 is strictly for freshman. Once we arrived at the plaza, were able to see the spire that was placed atop the clock tower just one week prior. It towers 145 feet above the ground, and it is quite a humbling sight to see. The central plaza is where most of the action of the Village community will go down. There will be numerous locations for dining, entertainment, shopping, and communal spaces for people to occupy.USC Village

In addition to these amenities, there will also be a central fountain (which has not been designed yet) and a statue of Hecuba, Tommy’s companion as some might say. In Greek mythology, Hecuba was the queen during the Trojan War.

Next, we toured the inside of Building 4, and we were able to explore the various bedroom layouts. We even got a view of the podium level courtyard in the center of the building and the interesting “Bridge To Nowhere.” This deceiving yet functional bridge spans the gap between  Buildings 4 and 9. The idea with this structure is that you would be able to walk into but not across to the opposite side. Study areas will be within this portion. It makes sense if you want to keep the freshmen separate from the upperclassmen. It is not impossible to cross, however. There is full access on the top level of the bridge.

"The Bridge to Nowhere" Occupants will be able to cross but not enter the adjoining buildings.
“The Bridge to Nowhere”
Occupants will be able to cross but not enter the adjoining buildings.

That pretty much concluded the tour as the sun began to set on that warm Friday evening. It was both a learning experience and a preview of what I hope to be involved in as a future civil engineer.

Podium level courtyard on the second floor of Building 4
Podium level courtyard on the second floor of Building 4

Structural Focus Guest Speaker Visits ASCE

As part of ASCE’s Professional Speaker Series, last week Samuel Mengelkoch from Structural Focus came out to ASCE and gave us a presentation on his experience in the structural engineering field and about some projects he has worked on in his career.


He gave out good advice for those interested in the field of structural engineering and showed that it can be more than just designing steel trusses. Namely, he showed us a renovation project his company is working on somewhere in downtown Los Angeles, where they are taking an old fabric manufacturing factory built in the early 20th century and renovating it into a shopping destination with a vast commercial space.  He described the challenges of earthquake-proofing a building that had been built before earthquake standards, and had not been designed for lateral loads. He really showed how the role of the structural engineer plays out both in shaping the design of the structure, as well as during construction where he worked directly with construction teams.

With so many disciplines of civil and environmental engineering these days, it was really great to hear about one that can really hold up to the competition.

Thank you Samuel!

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!

Sports Day!

Since a big part of PSWC (Pacific Southwest Conference) is all the different sports competitions, it is important we train so we can beat the other schools! Especially after our first place finish in Ultimate Frisbee last year, we are hoping to win even more sports this year.  Every month we have a sports day, which is where we all meet up and practice sports together. It is a fun way to hangout and get some exercise!

For this month’s sports day we focused on volleyball, since we are hopeful it will make a reappearance at PSWC this year! We learned that the key to volleyball is communication and that it is very important to call the ball and say “MINE!” Our volleyball team now looks ready to go!

Social: Hiking to the Wisdom Tree!

Although most people assume Los Angeles isn’t a super outdoorsy place, there are plenty of great hikes to go on around the Los Angeles area! About two weeks ago, USC ASCE went hiking on the Tree of Life trail, which is pleasant hike offering beautiful views of the Los Angeles area, the Hollywood Sign, and of course the Wisdom Tree! It was great to get outside, explore some nature, and get a good workout in. The hike was steep, so our legs were definitely feeling it.

Pre hike – the reason we don’t look tired and sweaty!

After the hike, we stopped for lunch at Roscoe’s which is a famous restaurant in Los Angeles that serves chicken and waffles. You might think that’s an interesting combination, but it is quite delicious!

Pigging out at Roscoe's
Pigging out at Roscoe’s

Overall, it was great to spend the day together and explore some cool places around Los Angeles. We can’t wait for more exciting socials in the future.

Check out photos from the hike below!


Big Buddy Kickoff!

Last week, the 2015-2016 Big Buddy program was officially launched with a kickoff mixer! While snacking on pizza and ice cream, all the little buddies and big buddies introduced themselves and started talking. The main highlight of the night was a round of “speed dating”, where every little and big got to talk to each other!

At the end of the night, little buddies and big buddies were matched up! Although all the buddy pairings will certainly hang out on their own, we are looking forward to planning more fun events where all the buddies can hang out together!