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Sac State civil engineering teams reach nationals


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Two teams of Sacramento State civil engineering students took the annual Mid-Pacific Regional Conference by storm April 18-20 at San Jose State.

Sac State’s teams scored high in the concrete canoe races and the steel bridge loading. The wins mark the first time two Hornet civil engineering teams have advanced to the national competition.

Concrete canoe!

Civil Engineering students Mike Hunk, Blake Dolve, Kira Davis and Casey McEndree propel Imperium to the finish line. (Photo by Kelly McCamman)

The event, which included teams of civil engineering students from universities throughout California and Nevada, was sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The Hornet Concrete Canoe Team – and its vessel, Imperium – will head to the National Concrete Canoe Competition from June 20-22 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The last time Sac State went to nationals with a concrete canoe was 2004. The Imperium is lighter than water but strong enough to withstand the weight of students.

Sac State’s Steel Bridge Team will travel to the National Student Steel Bridge Competition, co-organized by ASCE and the American Institute of Steel Construction, May 31 and June 1 at the University of Washington in Seattle. The bridge must meet “client” specifications and optimize performance and economy. It is built on site and tested with various loads.

Sac State civil engineering students also competed in water treatment design, geo-challenge and a suite of other challenging events. These competitions have become very competitive, especially in the Mid-Pacific region, which routinely produces teams that prevail at the national level.

Professor Ben Fell, this year’s recipient of Sacramento State’s President’s Award for Research and Creative Activity, advises the University’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He’s also faculty adviser for the steel bridge team. Professor Matthew Salveson advises the concrete canoe team.

Both squads are scrambling to cover the cost of going to the nationals. Alban Gjongecaj, a graduate Civil Engineering student, is heading the fundraising efforts and would appreciate any contributions. For information on sponsorships and an overview of the competition, go here.

For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

– Alan Miller