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2018 Symposium Recap

2018 Symposium Recap

The 2018 ASCE Texas Student Symposium gathered over 400 students and professionals from Texas and Mexico from April 11-14 in Bryan/College Station, Texas. The Symposium offered students the opportunity to showcase their year’s hard work in the Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe Competitions, attend technical and career oriented seminars, interact with potential employers at the career fair and networking mixers, and exchange ideas with colleagues from across the State and Mexico. This year’s symposium was hosted by the ASCE Student Chapter at Texas A&M University with the theme of “SERVE: Engineers serve the public”. The theme emphasized engineers who serve the public through their role in the professional world by providing new ideas and building communities.


Texas Section volunteers lead the planning efforts for the Career Fair at the 2018 ASCE Texas Student Symposium, which offered 16 different agencies and companies a unique opportunity to interact with the brightest students from more than 20 universities over the course of two full days. One lucky student was even hired on the spot by CivilTech Engineering, Inc. 

In addition to the Career Fair, the Student Chapter at TAMU worked with professionals to present career based seminars that included resume writing, interview skills, professional presentations and many additional topics to prepare the students for their professional career. Brazos Branch volunteers arranged for technical seminars for local engineers and students. The Branch also arranged a technical tour of the Center for Infrastructure Renewal (CIR), facilitated by Texas A&M University’s College of Engineering.


The social events during the ASCE Texas Student Symposium brought together students and professionals to better build connections and networks, in a fun setting. The first social was held at the Lake Bryan Ice House. Students and professionals enjoyed a restaurant styled outdoor patio area with live music, food, and games! The second social, held the day of the steel bridge competition, was the Dream Big showing at the Brazos Expo Complex. Students and professionals were able to watch the inspirational movie and were provided dinner. 

The conclusion of the Symposium is signified by the annual awards banquet where winners are announced and recognized. The 2018 banquet was held in a business professional setting and was a great way for students and professionals to interact. Students were able to celebrate their hard work over the year in preparation for the competitions. The keynote speaker, Dr. Kelly Brumbelow, discussed the theme of the Symposium. The theme, SERVE: Engineers Serving the Public, was further emphasized by Dr. Brumbelow as he noted the importance of engineers and their impact on society throughout history.

It is important to know that as engineers we hold a role paramount to the success of society, and it’s vital that we do our absolute best to ensure our work is the best it can be. Overall, the social events at the Symposium played an important role in the development of professional relationships between students and professionals while having fun and learning at the same time. 


17 universities from across Texas and Mexico participated in this year’s Steel Bridge competition. Nine of the universities passed the 50-lb. lateral and 2,500-lb. vertical load tests and were eligible to receive awards. The competition began for each school with a timed construction to build their 20-ft. bridge; after construction, each bridge was weighed then proceeded to loading. 

This year proved to be a competitive year as all nine eligible universities received an award in at least one of the seven categories: Speed, Lightness, Display, Stiffness, Economy, Efficiency, and Overall. 

The University of Texas at El Paso earned first place in Lightness and fourth place Overall. Lamar University earned first place in Display and third place Overall. The University of Texas at San Antonio earned first place in Economy and second place overall. First place in the remaining categories and first place Overall were earned by Universidad Panamericana from Mexico City, Mexico. Eligible schools advanced to nationals to be hosted by the ASCE Student Chapter of The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, Illinois on May 25-26, 2018. 


The Concrete Canoe competition brought together 11 universities from across Texas and Mexico. The competition consisted of the display, design paper, oral presentation, and racing of a 20-ft. concrete canoe. The creativity of the students shined through every part of the competition. Unfortunately, the races were canceled due to high winds after the three front running universities proved to be unable to race without capsizing. The students were disappointed but were ultimately in good spirits as they agreed to complete each race on foot (each racer wore a life jacket and used a paddle as a relay baton). Evaluating each university on display, design paper, and oral presentation alone, the University of Texas at Austin earned first place Overall and will advance to nationals to be hosted by the ASCE Student Chapter of San Diego State University in San Diego, California on June 23-25, 2018.


The annual student business meeting was well attended by two undergraduate students from each university in our region as well as by students from guest-schools (schools working towards starting an ASCE Student Chapter). The students considered and approved various motions developed to plan for and improve future Symposiums by talking through ideas on how to decrease student costs and increase student participation in Symposium activities overall. The student representatives approved the ASCE Student Chapter of The University of Texas at Arlington as the host for the 2020 ASCE Texas Student Symposium.

Save the Date: The 2019 ASCE Texas Student Symposium will be hosted by the ASCE Student Chapter at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in South Padre Island on April 10-13, 2019. The Texas Section and Rio Grande Valley Branch are looking forward to supporting the Student Chapter in their planning efforts!

Competition Results

Steel Bridge

#1 Universidad Panamericana

#2 The University of Texas at San Antonio

#3 Lamar University

#4 The University of Texas at El Paso

#5 Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

#6 Texas Tech University

#7 The University of Texas at Tyler

#8 The University of Texas at Austin

#9 The University of Texas at Arlington

Concrete Canoe

#1- The University of Texas at Austin

#2- The University of Texas at Tyler

#3- Texas A&M University

#4- The University of Texas at El Paso

#5- The University of Texas at Arlington

#6- Texas Tech University

#7- Universidad Autonoma Del Estado De Mexico

#8- Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores

#9- Universidad La Salle Victoria

#10- University of Houston

#11- Lamar University

Poster Competition Winners

#1- Mckenzie Aubuchon – Texas Tech University

#2- Eva Schexnider – Texas Tech University

Paper Competition Winners

#1- Abraham Calderon Rodriguez- Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

#2- Andrew Czubai- University of Texas at Arlington

#3- Stephanie Tutt- University of Texas at Tyler

Keith McBride Award Winners

#1- Concrete Canoe – University of Texas at Austin

#2- Steel Bridge – Universidad Nacional Autonoma 

de Mexico