Tag Archives: Competition

PSWC 2014 Co-ed Canoe Race

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.

usc-asce-pswc-2014-team-photo-banquet

PSWC 2014 Results

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.

Our 1st-place-winning Scavenger Hunt Team

Our 1st-place-winning Scavenger Hunt Team

 

Steel Bridge Team: 3rd place in Lightness and Construction Speed

Steel Bridge Team: 3rd place in Lightness and Construction Speed

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!

Steel Bridge Team: 3rd Place Overall

Steel Bridge Team: 3rd Place Overall

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!

Concrete Canoe Team: 3rd Place in Design Paper (team photo interrupted by 3rd place overall celebration)

Concrete Canoe Team: 3rd Place in Design Paper (team photo interrupted by 3rd place overall celebration)

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!

USC ASCE: PSWC 2014 3rd Place Overall Celebration

USC ASCE: PSWC 2014 3rd Place Overall Celebration

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:

  • Concrete Canoe – 6th
  • Steel Bridge – 3rd
  • Technical Paper – 5th
  • Geotechnical / Geowall  - Participated
  • Environmental – 5th
  • Surveying – 7th
  • Impromptu & Mystery – Participated
  • Family Feud Quiz – T5th
  • Basketball – T5th
  • Volleyball – Participated
  • Ultimate Frisbee – T5th
  • Tug of War – Participated
  • Kan Jam (2 teams) – T5th, Participated
  • Scavenger Hunt – 1st
  • Concrete Bowling – Participated

PSWC 2014 Complete Results

PSWC 2014 Event Point Distribution

USC ASCE: PSWC 2014 3rd Place Overall Celebration

USC ASCE: PSWC 2014 3rd Place Overall Celebration

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!

Measuring something.

PSWC 2014 Day 1: Surveying

Even though our surveying team was completely new this year, our 2014 Surveying team placed 7th in their competition!

Our quiz team may not be as cool as they think they are, but they are pretty smart.

PSWC 2014 Day 1: Family Feud Quiz

This year’s PSWC quiz event challenged students with an individual scan-tron-style quiz on engineering topics in the qualification round. After tying for second (out of 18 schools) in the qualifications, we advanced to the more energetic Family Feud tournament for the final rounds.  We named “Occupations That Begin With the Letter ‘A,’” but had trouble thinking of “Things You Do With Two Hands.”

PSWC 2014: Mystery Event

PSWC 2014 Day 1: Mystery Event

Mystery event is an event where we send several of our members to the competition where they proceed to compete in several challenges that were not previously announced. This year’s team had a blast, fully embracing the spirit of the competition.

Pouring the water into the system for treatment.

PSWC 2014 Day 1: Environmental Competiton

Our environmental team successfully completed their water treatment challenge to remove nitrate and phosphorus from a water sample, earning 5th place in a field of 15 schools.

Partial Canoe Team with DiSCovery II.

PSWC 2014 Day 1: Canoe & Bridge Aesthetics

PSWC 2014 Started off with a beautiful day of Concrete Canoes and Steel Bridges on display!

pswc-2013-volleyball

PSWC 2014 Planning Underway

Our USC ASCE team for PSWC 2014 has been finalized. We’ll be bringing 43 of our members to San Diego State University from April 2-6 to compete against 17 other universities in concrete canoe, steel bridge, environmental, geotechnical, surveying, technical paper, concrete bowling, scavenger hunt, sports teams, and several other events.

We’re finalizing details of our travel plans now, while also organizing the smaller competition teams. Once we have all of individual schedules and teams filled out, team captains will coordinate meetings/practices to prepare for victory!

Our design teams can always use more help to design and build the concrete canoe, steel bridge, water treatment system, and geowall. Even if you aren’t attending PSWC this year, you can make a big impact on our teams and help propel them to win!

Check out our calendars for updates on all of our meeting times and info for getting involved!

PSWC 2013 Summary

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.

Our 2013 Environmental Design Team poses with their water distribution system at the PSWC Environmental Competition at Pardee Plaza on the USC Campus.

Our Environmental Design Team poses with their water distribution system at the PSWC 2013 Environmental Competition at Pardee Plaza on the USC Campus.

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.

The 2013 Concrete Canoe Team poses with their USC-themed canoe, SC Traveler, after successfully finishing all five races at PSWC 2013.

The Concrete Canoe Team poses with their USC-themed canoe, SC Traveler, after successfully finishing all five races at PSWC 2013.
Photo © 2013 Lance Hill

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.

The 2013 Steel Bridge Team poses with the assembled bridge after the PSWC 2013 competition, in front of Mudd Hall at Pardee Plaza on the USC campus. <br/>Photo © 2013 Lance Hill

The Steel Bridge Team poses with the assembled bridge after the PSWC 2013 competition, in front of Mudd Hall at Pardee Plaza on the USC campus.
Photo © 2013 Lance Hill

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!