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WKU steel bridge, concrete canoe teams finish 3rd at regional competition

WKU steel bridge, concrete canoe teams finish 3rd at regional competition

WKU civil engineering students competed in the Ohio Valley Student Conference April 5-9 at The Ohio State University. More than 400 civil engineering students 13 colleges and universities from Ohio, Kentucky and western Pennsylvania competed.

Steel bridge competition

In the steel bridge competition, WKU finished third overall. This is the fifth year in a row that the team has finished in the top three at the regional competition. The team placed first in construction speed and economy.

Dr. Shane Palmquist, steel bridge team faculty advisor, said: “The team this year decided to design and build a beam bridge featuring new quick snap connections which significantly improved construction time. The new connections required a very high level of accuracy and workmanship in terms of design, fabrication and welding. Once again, the team rose to the challenge fabricating a bridge worth of WKU’s praise. I couldn’t be more proud of their dedication and accomplishment this year. This team of young men and women are extremely talented and deserving of praise.” 

Steel bridge team members include team tri-captains Cory Smith of Whitesville, Jacob Cornett of Cumberland and Thomas Hollinsworth of White House, Tennessee; Matthew Klein of Russellville; Eric Conway of Frankfort; Clifton Hurley of Park City; Travis McKim of New Washington, Indiana; Eric Saasita of Tanzania; Kyle Young of Columbia; Heath Holloman of Bowling Green; Dylan Givens of Benton; Kirschten Roberts of Somerset; Jace Caldwell of Mulvane, Kansas; and Saad Almutayran of Bowling Green.

Concrete canoe competition

In the concrete canoe competition, WKU finished third overall. The team placed first in design paper and third in oral presentation. In the canoe races, WKU finished first in women’s slalom (endurance race), second in women’s sprint and third in men’s slalom and co-ed sprint.

“The canoe team faced some significant challenges this year,” said Professor Matt Dettman, team advisor. “They tried something new that had never been done before in the competition, and that was to turn Domestic Waste Sludge from the water treatment plant into concrete. After many long hours and failed attempts, they finally were successful and built the first concrete canoe ever that incorporated waste sludge. On the down side, at the competition during the fourth race of the day, they experienced a major crack in the middle of the canoe during a turn in the men’s sprint race and were unable to finish the race. However, with a great deal of determination (as well as a lot of tape), they were able to repair the canoe and paddle in the final race of the day, finishing third. Although the team finished third overall, I was proud of what they accomplished building the canoe and proud of their perseverance during the adversity they faced on race day.” 

Concrete canoe team members include captains Megan Jones of Glasgow,  Lacey Martin of Glasgow and Kayla Watkins of Guthrie; Ethan Smith of Lancaster; Ryan Spaulding of Springfield; Brock Milby of Greensburg; Matthew Giffe of Brentwood, Tennessee; Matthew Holder of Scottsville; Seth Peay of Scottsville; Jeremy Marin of Guthrie; Saad Alamri of Bowling Green; Rakan Almulairi of Bowling Green; Megan Heisler of Glasgow; Tyler Johnson of Morgantown; Abdullah Alwadai of Saudi Arabia; Domenicka Mendoza of Guayaquil, Ecuador; Collin Ray of Owingsville; Clark Parker of Morgantown; Tucker Baker of Lawrenceburg; Bethany Vogt of Murray; Rachael Wilson of Elkton; and Price Thompson of Louisville.

Balsa wood bridge competition

In the balsa wood bridge competition, WKU finished first. Team members include Jeremy Marin, Thomas Hollinsworth, Kyle Young, Megan Heisler, Clifton Hurley, Rachael Wilson, Bethany Vogt and Tyler Johnson. This was the fifth year in a row that WKU won this competition.

Surveying competition

In the surveying competition, WKU finished second. Team members include Matt Holder, Ethan Smith, Seth Peay, Collin Ray (team captain), Ryan Spaulding, Kayla Watkins, Colton McGlone and Logan Howe.  Dr. Ronald Gallagher, advisor to the surveying team, said this year’s competition involved several events including pacing, leveling, construction layout, sewer pipe layout and 3D triangular point location.

Concrete bat competition

In the concrete bat competition, WKU finished second. Team members include: Travis McKim, Clark Parker, Matthew Holder, Seth Peay and Clifton Hurley. The competition was to construct a reinforced concrete bat. Judging was based on bat aesthetics and lightness as well as the distances that balls were hit during the competition.

Concrete horseshoe competition

In the concrete horseshoe competition, WKU finished third. Team members include: Tucker Baker and Tyler Johnson. The competition was to construct a horseshoe made entirely of concrete.

Environmental engineering competition

In the environmental engineering competition, WKU finished third. For the creativity portion of this competition, WKU finished in first place. Team members include Kirschten Roberts and Clifton Hurley. The competition was to design and construct an apparatus to filter contaminants and nitrates from a water supply in a cost effective and efficient method. Judging was based on nitrate concentration, filtration speed, uniqueness, turbidity and acidity. 

Technical paper competition

In the technical paper competition, WKU finished third. Tucker Baker competed in this event that involved writing a paper and giving a professional presentation on a civil engineering topic. The topic this year was should professors be required to have their professional engineering licensure.

In addition to WKU’s Department of Engineering, participating colleges and universities were Akron, Carnegie Mellon, Cincinnati, Cincinnati State, Cleveland State, Dayton, Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio, Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Youngstown State.  The 2018 Ohio Valley Student Conference will be held at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

More: View photos from the regional competition.

Contact: Engineering, (270) 745-2461

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 Last Modified 4/18/17