March 16, 2005

Fun is serious business during upcoming
engineering student competitions

Civil and mechanical engineering students from California, Nevada, Hawaii and beyond will network and show off their engineering prowess during two regional conferences to be held concurrently at California State University, Sacramento, April 9 and 10.

A highlight of both conferences will be competitions that test students’ design and construction skills.

On Saturday, April 9 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the University’s Aquatic Center at Lake Natoma, nine teams of civil engineering students will display and race concrete canoes they have designed and built according to American Society of Civil Engineers specifications. Teams will be scored on their boats’ buoyancy and appearance, and on an accompanying technical design paper. Later, the teams will race their canoes in men’s, women’s and mixed team sprint and distance events. Last year Sacramento State’s team won the regional concrete canoe competition in Reno, Nevada, and went onto place 16th in a national contest.

From 8 a.m. to noon on Sunday, April 10, just outside the University Union, teams of civil engineering students will compete in a timed contest to assemble 20-foot steel bridges they have designed and built according to rules drafted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Each bridge will also be judged on esthetics and load-bearing capacity.

Inside the University Union from 8 a.m. to noon, mechanical engineering students will race the clock using student-built devices designed to carry rice up a staircase and dump it into a hopper. The winning device will transport the most rice during the timed contest.

Spectators are welcome to attend all three competitions, which are free of charge.

The conference hosted by the Sacramento State student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers will draw students from 15 Northern California universities and colleges and the University of Nevada, Reno. A student delegation from the Tokyo Technical Institute in Japan will also attend.

The University’s student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers will host student chapters from more than 30 universities and colleges from throughout California, Nevada and Hawaii.

Both conferences will focus on mastery of core engineering skills, including research, communication, design and construction. Students will compete for awards for technical papers and posters, oral presentations, and webpage design. The civil engineering conference will also include an engineering exposition, career fair, business meeting and awards dinner.

More information about the civil engineering conference is available from Rob Stubben at More information about the mechanical engineering conference is available from Heather Ramil at Media assistance is available from the Sacramento State public affairs office at (916) 2278-6156.


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •