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Student Team Competitions:A Path To Creativity And Problem Solving In Civil Engineering Technology

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ET Student Design Teams

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1030.1 - 7.1030.6

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Paper Authors

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Michael Orlandella

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Timothy Zeigler

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Session 3550


Michael Orlandella, Timothy Zeigler

Civil Engineering Technology Southern Polytechnic State University


Members of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Club at Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) have participated in numerous team competitions. These competitions are held each year at the ASCE regional student chapter conference. The two most notable competitions are the STEEL BRIDGE and CONCRETE CANOE. However, SPSU students have competed (and performed well) in other competitions such as Surveying, Environmental, Geotechnical, and even the Concrete Bowling Ball. The learning process offered by these competitions cannot be duplicated in the classroom. At SPSU some companies have asked specifically to interview competition students at graduation. This paper will bring together the learning, creativity, and problem solving that evolves through team competitions. Discussion will concentrate on the experiences of the SPSU Steel Bridge Team. Recommendations will be given as to how any ASCE Chapter can successfully compete and offer this experience to the students.


The value of student design competitions is well recognized in various disciplines of engineering and engineering technology. For example, manufacturing engineering 1, computer science and electrical engineering 2, and mechanical engineering 3. In design competitions, students gain in-depth experience in teamwork, creativity, problem solving, and the technical discipline. SPSU students majoring in the B.S. Civil Engineering Technology Program or B.S. Surveying and Mapping Program are given the opportunity to compete in regional and national competitions. Each year students from approximately 200 Civil Engineering and Civil Engineering Technology programs compete among 20 regional competitions. These competitions are held annually at the ASCE Regional Student Conferences. For example, in 2002 the SPSU teams will compete at the 2002 ASCE Southeast Regional Student Conference hosted by Florida A&M and Florida State Universities.

Two highly publicized competitions are the Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe competitions which are held at both the regional and national levels. The first and second place Steel Bridge teams from each regional competition are invited to compete in the annual national competition. Thus, a total of 40 bridge teams are invited to compete

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Orlandella, M., & Zeigler, T. (2002, June), Student Team Competitions:A Path To Creativity And Problem Solving In Civil Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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