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2022 ASCE Region 6 Student Symposium

Akash Doshi, Keslin Tran, and Ngoc-Thy Pham ASCE Region 6 Student Symposium Committee

The 2022 ASCE Region 6 Student Symposium gathered over 600 students and professionals from Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico in Houston, Texas. The Symposium offered students the opportunity to showcase their year of hard work through various competitions while attending technical and career-orientated seminars, interacting with potential employers at the career fair, and networking socials. The competitions couldn’t have been a success without the dedicated time and support from the wonderful volunteer judges from ASCE Texas Section, led by the head judge Jessica Hilscher PE.
This year’s Symposium was hosted by the ASCE Student Chapter at the University of Houston with “Be Someone” as the event theme, inspired by the famous Houston city bridge slogan. This theme emphasized focusing on one’s goals as a professional while also becoming someone and having a purpose beyond one’s career. Through the technical seminars and networking, the Symposium hopes that all the students who came and participated have taken one step closer to their future careers.

ASCE Texas Section volunteers lead the planning effort for the 2022 ASCE Region 6 Student Symposium Career Fair, which allowed 30+ different agencies and companies a unique opportunity to interact with students from 25 universities on Thursday and Champion and Advocate Sponsors on Friday.
During the event, the ASCE Student Chapter at the University of Houston worked with professionals to present career-based seminars that included various topics like email etiquette, how to become get involved in public service, the transition from student to professional, and many other topics that provided insight and guidance to students on how to prepare for the professional career.
Additionally, the ASCE Houston branch leaders coordinated technical presentations on relevant topics for both students and professionals. Such topics included forensic engineering, planning and designing sustainable infrastructure, transportation design, Hydrology & Hydraulics, and many others. Professional attendees were able to earn Professional Development Hours (PDHs) by attending these sessions.
On Thursday, all attendees enjoyed a break with a luncheon at an outside plaza near the hotel venue. The luncheon was graced by guest speaker Carrol Haddock PE, who is the Director of the Public Works Department in the City of Houston and the attendees enjoyed a keynote speech from the guest speaker. In the evening, attendees gathered at the outside plaza to wind down from a long and activity-filled day to enjoy great food, good music, and a keynote speech from the Mayor of Sugarland – Joe Zimmerman.

The social events during the ASCE Region 6 Student Symposium brought students and professionals together to build relationships in a relaxing environment. The first social was held on Thursday at the Sugar Land Town Square Plaza and was organized by the Young Members group of the ASCE Houston Branch. Students and professionals enjoyed food, music, a photo booth, and a nice open environment where students got to play football, Frisbee, and lawn games. Students also enjoyed music from DJ Ebonix, a well-known Houston-based DJ,
The second social was on Friday at the Sugar Land Town Square Plaza. The ASCE UH Student Chapter organized many different activities for attendees to participate in such as caricature artists and various lawn games. Attendees also enjoyed wonderful Italian cuisine from local restaurants and danced the night away with music from DJ Ebonix.
The Symposium concluded with the first ASCE Region 6 Awards Banquet. Among the presence of various leaders from various ASCE sections and branch offices, and student chapters from 25 universities, the 2020 ASCE President, Jean-Louis Briaud, Ph.D., PE., D.GE, Dist.M.ASCE was also in attendance. Dr. Briaud congratulated the planners of the symposium for the amazing inaugural ASCE Region 6 symposium that was hosted and congratulated all the participating student chapters and their team for all the hard work. With the presence of over 600 attendees at the banquet, everyone enjoyed the closing ceremony and celebrated the achievements and year-long hard work.
After a virtual symposium in 2021 and the addition of New Mexico and Oklahoma in Region 6, the first-ever ASCE Region 6 Student Symposium held new records at many levels and saw the highest participation from students across New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Mexico. The symposium provided a great platform for students to not only showcase their skills and talent to 25 student chapters but also to develop relationships and connections with fellow students as well as professionals.

The Concrete Canoe competition bought 12 universities from New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Mexico to compete against each other. The teams were judged on display, design paper, technical presentation, and races. Each of the universities’ creations shined and were seen in action on the canoe races which was hosted at Brooks Lake in Sugar Land, Texas. Students were able to race against one another and all the times were recorded for judging. Texas A&M University took first place which qualified them to compete in the ASCE Concrete Canoe National Competition where 24 teams from around the world will compete from 3rd to 5th June 2022 at Louisiana Tech University.

The first-ever ASCE Region 6 Student Symposiums saw the return of the famous American Institute of Steel Construction’s (AISC) steel bridge design competition after a hiatus of a few years. A total of 12 universities from participating universities participated in the competition which drew a large crowd of audience during the competition. The teams were judged in construction speed, lightness, aesthetics, stiffness, cost estimate, economy, and efficiency. After the judges evaluated each of the teams on these criteria, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico won the first place in the Steel Bridge Design Competition, qualifying them to advance to AISC Steel Bridge Design National Competition and compete with winners from other regions which will take place from 27th to 28th May at Virginia Tech.

The annual Student Business Meeting was well attended by at least one undergraduate student from each participating university and saw engaging discussions from the majority of universities. Students at this meeting discussed various aspects of the 2022 symposium and how to improve them, things to consider for the next symposium, and approved various motions for upcoming symposiums.

Join us in celebrating all of our participants and winners.  Click for a full list of award winners