University to Host ASCE Upstate New York Regional Student Conference

 Students compete at the steel bridge competition

April 11, 2017

On April 20-22, Syracuse University will host the 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Upstate New York Regional Student Conference. The event is a chance for civil engineering undergraduate students to participate in fun and challenging competitions, develop teamwork and leadership skills, and apply knowledge they have gained in the classroom.

The Conference includes regional steel bridge and concrete canoe competitions, as well as a Mead technical paper presentation competition. Winners of the competitions will earn scholarship money for their school’s undergraduate civil engineering program.

Schools from across New York State will be in attendance, including University at Buffalo, Cornell, SUNY Polytech, Rochester Institute of Technology, West Point, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and SUNY Canton. Universities from Canada will also be in attendance, Including University of Waterloo, École de technologie supérieure, and Polytechnique Montréal. Syracuse University will also host students from Dalian University in China, who have never attended an ASCE conference.

“Hosting this conference has been an exciting challenge,” ASCE student president Josh Saxton ’17 said. “Coordinating with the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and the University as a whole has been an invaluable experience to the other co-chairs and myself. Having the conference at SU gives us an opportunity to showcase our engineering program, and how far our ASCE section has grown over the past couple of years.”

Below is the complete schedule of 2017 ASCE Upstate NY Regional Conference competitions. For additional information, contact co-chairs William Guida and Rachel Murello.


Steel Bridge Competition, Carrier Dome and Link Hall 105

In this competition, teams build a 1:10 scale model bridge approximately 19 feet in length. Each team designs and fabricates their bridge beforehand and constructs it, piece by piece, in a timed setting at the competition. After the bridge is built, weight is applied to test it for deflection—the amount the structure moves when subjected to a load. Each bridge is judged on its efficiency, lightness, stiffness, construction speed, economy, and display.

  • Oral Presentations, Thursday, 4/20, 6:30 pm – 9 pm, Link Hall 105
  • Judging, Friday, 4/21, 7:30 am – 8:30 am, Carrier Dome
  • Competition, Friday, 4/21, 8:30 am – 4 pm, Carrier Dome


Concrete Canoe Competition, Jamesville Reservoir, Carrier Dome, and Link Hall 105

Here, teams put canoes that are literally made with concrete to the test. Constructed over the course of the academic year, the canoes must withstand being “swamped” (i.e. filled with water) to see if they can resurface. Teams also face off in canoe races.

  • Judging, Friday, 4/21, 9 am – 12 pm, Carrier Dome
  • Oral Presentations, Friday, 4/21, 3 pm – 5 pm, Link Hall 105
  • Swamp Test, Saturday, 4/22, 6 am – 8 am, Jamesville Reservoir
  • Races, Saturday, 4/22, 8 am – 4 pm, Jamesville Reservoir


Mead Paper Presentation Competition, Link Hall 105

In technical paper and presentation, student teams will address the topic: “Is it ethical for university engineering faculty to teach technical subject matter to engineering students without obtaining professional licensure?”

  • Presentations, Friday, 4/21, 6 pm – 10 pm, Link Hall 105


About the ASCE

ASCE is the oldest national engineering society in the United States. Founded in 1852, the Society was created to disseminate information among engineers who were building the roads, canals, bridges and railroads of a young nation.

The objective of ASCE is to enhance the welfare of mankind through the advancement of the science and profession of engineering. In response to these goals, more than 6,200 members voluntarily serve nearly 600 different technical, administrative and coordinating committees. Another 300 participate on 36 other professional committees. Including the activities of sections, student chapters and international student groups, as well as the national and local committees, ASCE groups average 100 meetings throughout the country every day.

Educational activities extend to college campuses through more than 300 student organizations. These organizations sponsor meetings, educational outreach, conferences, student competitions, social events and other activities to help future engineers become better prepared for their careers. Numerous scholarships and awards are made available for deserving students of civil engineering.

For more information, visit