PNW Civil Engineering Students Just Miss Qualifying for National Competition

Students from Purdue University Northwest and its American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) chapter placed fourth at the recent ASCE regional Great Lakes Student Conference civil engineering competition, just missing a qualifying berth in the national finals.

The PNW students competed against peers from 18 other colleges and universities, including Purdue West Lafayette, Rose-Hulman Institute, the University of Wisconsin Madison, Notre Dame, Northwestern, the University of Illinois, Illinois Institute of Technology, Valparaiso University and host Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Underclassmen step up
“I cannot be more proud of what our students accomplished, especially because most of them are underclassmen,” PNW Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and faculty advisor Chien-Chung Chen said. “This is their first year participating in this competition, which provides a great opportunity to apply knowledge to practice.”

Highlighting the Purdue Northwest effort was a fourth place in the Steel Bridge competition, which tested students to respond effectively to such real world engineering issues as spatial constraints, fabrication processes, project management and effective teamwork.

PNW Steel Bridge team members were: Romulo de Carvalho Silva of Imperatriz, Brazil; (captain), Neil Weber and Sang Kang, Schererville; Alex Metz, Hobart; Krista N. Tracy, Burns Harbor; Juan Padilla, Hammond; Kawthar Alahmed, Saudi Arabia; Maeve B. Cucolotto, Sao Joao, Parana, Brazil; Darian DeVries, Wheatfield; Andrea David, Crown Point; Amanda Vandenoever, St. Paul, Minn.; Yosef Maynie, Chicago; Samuel Ozeh, Abiriba, Nigeria; and Ikenna Ezeugwu, Enugu, Nigeria.

Real world design challenge
“The steel bridge competition simulates a real world design challenge, requiring the bridge be designed for safety, economy and constructability,” Chen said. “Our students’ participation in this competition enabled a great experiential learning opportunity in application of critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, communication, project management and time management skills.”

Also assisting the Purdue Northwest efforts were sponsors Superior Engineering LLC of Hammond; American Institute of Steel Construction, Chicago; American Society of Civil Engineers, Indiana Section; and PNW’s Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering within the College of Engineering and Sciences.

Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest (PNW), a comprehensive regional university within the Purdue University system, has two Northwest Indiana campuses in Hammond and Westville. The university was established by the unification of the former Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central. With more than 15,000 students enrolled last fall and nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Purdue Northwest is Indiana’s fifth largest public university. For more information about PNW, visit www.pnw.edu.

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