ASCE Chapter Receives Robert Ridgway Award


For the past five years the Brigham Young University Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has been awarded ASCE's Zone IV Vice Presidents Award. This award is given to the most outstanding student chapter of ASCE in the area that includes all of the United States west of the Rocky Mountains.  Each of these years the Student chapter has also been selected as one of the four finalists for ASCE's Ridgeway award.  This year (2003) the BYU Student Chapter of ASCE has been selected to receive the Ridgeway Award given to the most outstanding student chapter of ASCE. 

The Brigham Young University Student Chapter of ASCE has been very active in 2003.  Meetings were held every week of the school year. Speakers have included professors from BYU and other universities, consulting engineers from all of the disciplines of Civil Engineering, student researchers, student chapter officers, a planner, student interns, an architect, and two lawyers.  The average attendance at these meetings was 284. 

Social events have included cookouts, volleyball tournaments, ice skating, and pizza. Field trips were taken to the UDOT transportation center, a wastewater treatment plant, a hazardous waste incinerator, various construction sites, and an industrial waste treatment site. 


tudents successfully competed in our regional conference, the Rocky Mountain Conference. The chapter participated in all events at the conference including: mystery design (a scavenger hunt across the University of Wyoming campus), the pre-design (design and construction of a water wheel), a technical paper, a non-technical paper, concrete canoe design, construction and races, and the steel bridge design and construction contest.  

Some of the most significant of the chapter's activities have been service projects managed by the students.  Special projects included many interesting and diverse activities.  The students organized and conducted a Fundamental of Engineering Review course.  The students adopted a two-mile segment of Interstate 15 and were responsible for litter control on this segment of the freeway.  Trees and shrubs were planted on a mountain adjacent to the campus which had been burned by a wildfire.  Students acted as mentors to middle school students in the National Society of Professional Engineers "Math Counts" competition, proctored the exam, and graded it. Students are doing the design work necessary to produce the historical recreation of a horse driven Old Danish Carousel Swing.  Students assisted the Bureau of Land Management in making trail improvements and engineering up-grades to the Bells Canyon Trail in Salt Lake County.  Students studied and designed the repair of a footbridge across the Provo River which had been destroyed by an avalanche.  Students have conducted classes in five middle schools to introduce students to civil engineering using the building big format.  Students supervise the instruction in each technology class in the school one day each semester, teaching approximately 5,000 students.  Students raised $1,500 for Sub-for-Santa (most of this money was donations directly from students).  The money was used to buy presents for 5 families (14 children) for Christmas.  Students have also begun the design of a foot-bridge for Provo City.  To date the site has been surveyed and modeled using CAD software.  Several alternative designs have been developed and presented to the City for Approval.  Students also conducted a balsawood bridge competition for high school students in the state.  Over 5,000 bridge kits were assembled and distributed by the students.  After the bridges were constructed, students visited each of 19 high schools to test the bridges.  Cash prizes were awarded to the best bridges at each high school.  

Students also conducted several fund raising activities.  Students distributed aver 2,500 phone books to earn money for the chapter.  They wrote proposals to the college and university to solicit funds.  They also visited the offices of local consulting firms and requested donations. 

The activities of the Student Chapter have given students in the department many opportunities to learn inside and outside of the classroom.  Students have been able to receive hands-on design and project management experience.  Students have also been able to learn how their professional skills can be used for the benefit of their peers and their community.  They have also been able to experience the joy that comes from selfless service to others.  The Student Chapter has made a significant positive difference in the lives of literally thousands of people this year. 

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