Every year, ASCE organizes a National Convention in which civil engineering students and professionals from all over the country come together and attend civil engineering related events and workshops. This year, the National Convention took place in Portland, Oregon from September 28th to October 1st.
USC ASCE sent three student members to the National Convention to learn more about what ASCE is doing on the national level and to gain insight on some current civil engineering topics. President Saina Vosoghi, vice president Marissa Knutson, and secretary Elizabeth Gu flew to Portland to attend the convention and experience the beautiful city!
Some of the insightful workshops that USC ASCE members were able to attend were on subjects such as past iconic construction endeavors, the influence of various civil engineering innovations, and how to improve the professional status of civil engineers. Two of the sessions, “Building the Grand Coulee Dam”, and “Behind the Scenes: Design and Construction of the World’s Longest Floating Bridge”, went through a step-by-step process of how these grand structures were designed and constructed. In addition, “Transforming Transportation – Automated and Connected Vehicles”, discussed the ethical dilemmas regarding the advanced technological pursuits of automated vehicles. Two workshops that discussed the role of civil engineering professionals both in industry and in the world included “Collaboration of Construction Engineers and Structural Engineers” and “Humanitarian Opportunities in Civil Engineering.”
An emphasis was placed on the importance of good communication between design and construction that begins with a solid relationship between construction and structural engineers. Also, the humanitarian opportunities that are available for civil engineers were discussed and displayed the importance of giving back using the engineering skills that civil engineers have in their possession. Beyond the workshops, USC ASCE members were given the opportunity to speak with esteemed civil engineering professionals and to preview MacGillivray Freeman’s “DREAM BIG” movie, set to release in February 2017.
The convention was not just about business, however. Saina, Marissa, and Elizabeth also got the opportunity to experience some of Portland’s most treasured attractions! They rode the Portland Aerial Tram and got to escape the LA drought and go hiking in some beautiful green forests. Powell’s Book Store was also an impressive sight to see, the world’s largest independent bookstore! They couldn’t stay away from the great food and visited Voodoo Doughnuts and the Portland Saturday Market. They took advantage of Portland’s great public transportation and rode the train to Washington Park, the deepest transit station in North America at 260 ft. below ground. At Washington Park, they explored the arboretum as well as the Vietnam War Memorial. They truly enjoyed getting to visit the city and were taken away with the beautiful buildings and impressive bridges. The ASCE National Convention was a great experience and we can’t wait for next year’s in New Orleans, Louisiana!