Orange County Branch Newsletter

June 2015


Pacific Southwest Conference 2015

By:  Ryan Hankes

It was an eventful three days at the University of Arizona starting on April 9th.  A total of 18 schools, coming from as far as Hawaii, competed to be the top ASCE chapter.  The 19 competitions were engineering based in all types of fields, as well as sporting events.  The atmosphere in the area was that compared to any sporting event, with students cheering on their fellow ASCE members in the many competitions and events.  Each competition was given a point value based on how the respective schools placed in the events, the total of these events resulted in overall placing of the schools.

The University of Arizona did a fantastic job hosting the event this year.  Students got to travel all over the campus by holding events throughout university.  Both Thursday and Saturday events were help on campus.  The Friday events were held at a local park with a lake to accommodate the canoe races.

Each day had its full share of activities.  The first event of the weekend was the canoe aesthetics were each school was up and setting up there display of their concrete canoe, steel bridge, and doghouse for all other students to see, as well as the judges.  All the students were up before the sun was up, this was a common thing throughout the weekend.  Below the three Orange County schools canoes.

The three Orange County University’s concrete canoes.

All the schools put countless hours into each event in preparation for this competition.  For example, not only are the canoes built using concrete that is made solely from the students to be lighter than water, but they have to set up displays to show them off, reports that record the entire process, a formal presentation to a panel of judges, and compete in multiple races as well.

The events that contributed for the most points are the concrete canoe and steel bridge competition.  Following those are geo wall competition and tech paper.  This year two new competitions were added to the event which consisted of the doghouse and transportation project.

There was never a dull or quite moment during the three days the conference was held.  It was ended with beautiful banquet help at an air and space museum in Tuscon.  The top three winners of each completion were announced at the banquet, as well as the overall winners.  Some of the notable mentions are University of Irvine who took 2nd in the tech paper, 3rd in surveying, and 1st in family fued.  Long beach was 4th in the steel bridge and 2nd in family fued.  Fullerton had is best conference in years, by placing 1st in geo wall, tug of war, and the environmental competition, 4th in surveying and doghouse, and 4th overall.  The full results can be seen online at