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The College’s 2006-07 team took first in the regional competition and fifth at nationals

Lafayette will be hosting the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference April 5-6, with more than 150 civil engineering students from 10 different colleges and universities expected to attend.

The highlights of the conference include the Steel Bridge Competition, held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 6, in Allen P. Kirby Sports Center, and the Concrete Canoe Competition, held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 5, on the Lehigh River, along Larry Holmes Drive. This is the first time that Lafayette has hosted the regional conference, which is held annually and attracts most of the engineering schools in the Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania region.

For more information about the conference, contact Stephen Kurtz, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, at x5440 or email.

The Steel Bridge portion is an engineering competition in which students design and fabricate a 21-foot-long steel bridge that is capable of supporting 2,500 pounds of loading. On the day of competition, the bridge is assembled from size-limited parts as rapidly as possible over a mock river that the builders cannot cross. The objective of the competition is to design a bridge that is very stiff, very light, and can be assembled in the shortest time possible.

Teams in the competition will include Lafayette, Drexel University, Lehigh University, Penn State University, Swarthmore College, University of Delaware, University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, Villanova University, and Widener University. The top qualifiers will move on to the 2008 National Student Steel Bridge Competition held May 23-24 at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla.

Lafayette’s team took fifth place in last year’s 16th annual national competition held at California State University-Northridge. This was the best national finish ever by Lafayette, which has won the regional competition for two consecutive years and qualified for nationals for three consecutive years.

The College’s team is headed by a four-person design crew made up of civil and environmental engineering majors James Horting ’08 (Elizabethtown, Pa.), Jared Kozemko ’08 (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.), Aaron Buchman ’08 (Williamsport, Md.), and John Mitchell ’08 (River Vale, N.J.). The students are working on the project as an independent study with Kurtz as their adviser.

The Concrete Canoe portion is an engineering competition in which students design and fabricate a 20-foot-long canoe, constructed primarily out of concrete and reinforcing materials. The competition consists of two phases. The first phase is the academic side of the competition in which judges evaluate each canoe team’s technical reports, oral presentation, and aesthetics. This portion will occur from 1 p.m.-3p.m. April 5 in Hugel Science Center room 103.

The second phase is the racing portion of the competition, in which each school races their canoes on the Lehigh River, along Larry Holmes Drive from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 5. Each school will race its canoes in five events: Women’s Slalom/Endurance, Men’s Slalom/Endurance, Women’s Sprints, Men’s Sprints, and Co-ed Sprints. Canoe teams are from Drexel University, Penn State University, Temple University, and the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown. Lafayette will not be competing in the canoe competition.

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