Carnegie Mellon University
March 26, 2014

CEE ASCE Student Chapter to Host Ohio Valley Conference

CEE ASCE Student Chapter to Host Ohio Valley Conference
The CMU student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is proud to host the 2014 Ohio Student Valley Conference this week, bringing over 370 civil engineering students and faculty from fourteen schools to Pittsburgh for design competitions in various areas of civil and environmental engineering. The conference brings together students from schools in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky. 

The nine conference competitions include: Steel Bridge, Concrete Canoe, Civil Site Design, Balsa Wood Bridge, Environmental, Surveying, Technical Paper, Concrete Bat, and Concrete Horseshoes. Winners of the Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe competitions will advance to the national ASCE competition. The conference provides a unique opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience while networking with professionals in the field. 

Christopher Ejiofor (CE ’14) is heading the committee in charge of organizing the entire conference. For over a year, the committee has met weekly to discuss budget plans and finalize details for the conference. “I wanted to put our chapter’s name out there by hosting the conference,” Chris says. “A lot of students don’t realize how beneficial ASCE is and by hosting this year, we are showing that CMU is more than just an academic institution. Our students are involved in many ways.” 

The Carnegie Mellon team will compete in a number of events, including Steel Bridge. Melissa Mohrenweiser (CE ’14) is organizing the overall competition and acts as a coordinator. “The most rewarding part about being on the planning committee is that we get to bring this competition to CMU,” Mohrenweiser says. 

From a planning standpoint, the committee organized and created seven of the competitions since only Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe are national competitions, with guidelines written by the ASCE. Co-leader of the planning committee Fola Odunlade (CE ’14) is most excited to see the results of the conference, “This is such a great event because it’s the first time CMU has organized it and the students were fully in charge of planning.”   

All conference competitions are open to the public and demonstrate the distinct skill set of civil engineering undergraduates. Ejiofor is anticipating watching the environmental competition because it is based on a real-life scenario. Students will be testing wastewater based on new standards set by the EPA, a realistic task since it gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in class. 

“The students are doing a great job of organizing the conference,” said Jim Thompson, undergraduate instructor in CEE. “They’re doing all the work. We’ll have glitches and snags, but on the whole it’s going to go great.”  Dr. Thompson has acted as a faculty advisor for the conference and has been instrumental in helping students. 

Students remain busy with final preparations as the conference approaches. They are appreciative of the many sponsors who help to fund the conference. While registration fees cover most the costs, the balance is covered through sponsorship from CEE, local engineering firms, and organizations associated with ASCE. More information about sponsors can be found here

“Organizing this conference has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I have CMU to thank for it,” Chris Ejiofor explains. “There are so many opportunities here to go beyond yourself and leave your comfort zone. CMU really encourages you to do more.”
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Follow the conference on twitter, facebook and instagram: #OVSC14