The ASCE University of New Orleans Chapter is poising itself, once again, to be aformidable competitor at the DEEP SOUTH
Regional Conference. With the support of our professors, local community, and professionals, we have been working
diligently to prepare for the events hosted by The University of Memphis this spring. We can say that we have a great
family here who all want to see our school succeed. When the fall semester began, and our first meeting was hosted, there were many new faces of students eager to be a part of the society and get involved. With this brought a lot of excitement, and anticipation, to get the ball rolling with our projects. With our main goals for our bridge and canoe being “simplicity and quality,” let me tell you about our experiences so far this year.
Only a handful of us attended the conference last year, so we spent some time explaining the experience to our new members. We talked about our successful plans, the not-so- successful outcomes, and our newer members were able to
provide creative ideas with a fresh perspective. The desire to win sparked in us all. We began designing immediately,
consulting our professors, suppliers, expert welders and professionals who have design experience. Getting a head start
on good designs will ensure that we will have time to address any flaws. When creating a design for each event, we
exercised care and attention to detail, for the rules to the competitions change each year. For example, the concrete
mix used in “The Float,” our concrete canoe from last year, is not allowed because some of the lightweight aggregates
that were used are now prohibited. This led us to reach out to members who participated in previous years for advice on
creating the right mix. Ultimately, we trialed new mix combinations, waited 7 days for curing, then tested and measured
the concretes’ properties to determine which one would best suit our canoe. The Canoe Team has even installed a timed
irrigation system in UNO’s concrete lab, to aid the curing process.
One of our captains for the Steel Bridge Team has experience from the conference last year, in which the team exceeded the time frame for building the bridge. We decided which factors caused last year’s loss, and brainstormed methods to over come obstacles for this year. Simplicity, quality welds, and meticulous fabrication are goals that we set to achieve with this year’s bridge. To fulfill these goals, we aim for a design that will be strong and quick to construct at the competition. Under the wing of a professional welder we spent hours learning and practicing, and have managed our time wisely to ensure we will have time to perfect our final products. We are on schedule with fabrication, and will be practicing the construction process soon.