Fairmont State University will host the American Society of Civil Engineers 2021 Virginias Student Conference this Thursday, April 8, through Saturday, April 10. The virtual event will bring together students from colleges and universities in West Virginia, Virginia and Washington, D.C. to network and participate in a series of engineering competitions.
Tabitha Lafferre, Assistant Professor of Engineering Technology and ASCE Student Chapter Faculty Advisor, said the students are excited to have the opportunity to compete after the 2020 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and thanked the Fairmont State Foundation and the contributions of generous sponsors for their assistance in making the conference possible.
“Fairmont State University students have worked hard to organize an event that everyone can enjoy while meeting various university-specific COVID-19 regulations,” said Lafferre. “With the use of Zoom and various team-based gaming platforms, we feel we have put together something that can be enjoyed by both groups working in-person in a collaborative environment as well as groups working together virtually.”
In addition to business meetings and events like scavenger hunts and trivia, the conference schedule will include regional level competitions that offer students the chance to advance to the national competition where they can test their knowledge and abilities against students at other colleges and universities from across the country. Registrants in each of three competition categories – Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute Surveying, Sustainable Solutions and Concrete Canoe – will deliver presentations to a panel of judges that includes representatives from the West Virginia and Virginia ASCE Chapters as well as faculty from Fairmont State.
“We are committed to student success, and events like the ASCE Virginias Student Conference are an important part of doing that,” said Mirta M. Martin, Fairmont State University President. “Through this event, our students get to compete, collaborate and network with students and engineering professionals from across the region. I’m proud of our ASCE students – overcoming the challenge of organizing an event like this is just one more skill they’ve developed that will help them as they, themselves, become engineering professionals.”
Fairmont State’s ASCE student chapter has enjoyed a successful history in the Virginias Conference Concrete Canoe Competition, winning its first title in 2004. Most recently, in 2019, Fairmont State took first place and advanced to the National Concrete Canoe Competition racing a canoe named “The Fossil,” which measured over 18 ½ feet long and weighed about 270 pounds. Due to the virtual format of this year’s event, participating student chapters did not build a physical canoe, so they will instead be judged on their submission of a technical paper as well as a live Zoom presentation.
The winning student chapters will be announced at the conclusion of the conference at an awards meeting at 6 p.m., Saturday, April 10. To view the full event schedule and access each competition’s Zoom meeting link, visit https://studentconferences.asce.org/virginias/schedule/.
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 137,500 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. ASCE’s vision is to position engineers as global leaders building a better quality of life. For more information, visit www.asce.org.