We’ve all recovered from PSWC 2013 (the ASCE Pacific Southwest Regional Conference) and are ready for a final summary. This year we co-hosted the conference, with most of the events taking place on the USC campus. Despite the added commitments of hosting, we were competitive in many events and made several improvements over last year.
Environmental Design Team
Our big win was our environmental team’s 1st Place finish! The team worked long hours and it paid off. Multiple design iterations, a large team, and excellent leadership enabled the group’s success. Since most of the team isn’t graduating yet, including the captains, we expect a strong showing for next year as well.
Concrete Canoe Team
Our Concrete Canoe made big improvements over our last several years’. For our seniors, this was the first time our canoe survived all the way until the final, coed race, when four people must race in the canoe at once. Naturally, our primary senior leaders celebrated our success by all racing together for the first time. Our final product was extremely buoyant and only faced minimal cracking issues (except during transportation). While we may not have had the prettiest canoe, it improved significantly over last year’s in aesthetics and we expect to improve further in coming years with the help of a larger team, better year-to-year knowledge transfer, and additional funding. A total of five schools were unable to race their canoes by midway through race day this year, so our solid (if heavy) canoe represents a huge accomplishment.
Steel Bridge Team
The Steel Bridge Team also completed a successful final product at PSWC 2013. Our bridge team is also young this year and only one team member (our head captain) is graduating, so we’re expecting better and better bridges over the next few years. We hope to grow this team larger as well, which should help ensure that we have regular strong finishes for years to come.
PSWC 2013 Rankings & Thanks
Overall, our conference rank for 2013 is 12th, a one-place improvement over last year, out of 18 competing schools. Detailed final scores and rankings information can be found here. But our biggest accomplishment is successfully co-hosting the conference. PSWC 2013 ran extremely smoothly thanks to the tireless work of our E-Board and PSWC planning committee, especially our Conference Co-Chairs Oscar and Theresa. Thanks to everyone’s hard work, we put on an amazing conference, while still faring well in competition!
The final day of PSWC 2013 included the Steel Bridge competition, the Geotechnical competition, Concrete Bowling and Horseshoes, the Soccer tournament, and the award ceremony.
Steel bridge photos are by Lance Hill.
So, it turns out that there’s a weight limit for the concrete bowling ball competition (ours was clearly way too heavy to use anyway). Fortunately, being engineers, we we able to find an alternate use for it as a soccer ball, kicking it around campus on our way to the Geotech competition. Note that a 25-pound sphere can pick up a lot of momentum…
Race day was a blast! In addition to the canoe races, the volleyball tournament, impromptu, mystery event, and surveying competition were held today, all at Santa Fe Dam. And, all 1,000 conference participants were treated to Doc’s cooking for lunch.
Photos by Lance Hill and various USC ASCE members (sorry, too many to credit individually).
The highlight of PSWC day 1 is the concrete canoe and steel bridge aesthetics competition. Since we’re hosting PSWC this year, the event took place at the heart of the USC campus, in Alumni Park. Various other events took place today, including the Environmental Design competition.
Everyone’s finishing up last minute details for PSWC 2013, which starts tomorrow. Canoe team wrapped up aesthetics, our display board and engineer’s notebook. But—in a concrete canoe first—we had to make one last batch of concrete. But don’t worry, it was just to re-finish the cross section. It would never work to put new concrete on the canoe this late in the game. Steel bridge team finished up bridge painting and did their display board tonight. And the environmental team finished strategizing for their 8am Thursday competition, while other team members created the display board and other documentation. Meanwhile, our e-board finished orchestrating all of the logistics for the conference (since we’re hosting). Everything’s coming into place, and we’ll be back at it bright and early (in like 4 hours) to get everything for the first day of competition.