(JACKSON, Miss.) – For the second year in a row, the Jackson State University American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapter won several awards at the 2012 ASCE Deep South Regional Student Conference held March 30 through April 1 at the University of Tennessee, Martin. The conference featured the annual concrete canoe competition and other competitions related to civil engineering. Eleven universities from Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas with about 300 civil engineering students and faculty participated.
This year, the JSU concrete canoe team captured four first-place or second-place awards, and the surveying competition team secured another first-place victory. The concrete canoe is the most visible and challenging in the competition. The goal is to successfully construct an 18- to 22-foot-long canoe with a structural mix that has a unit weight less than water and be able to float and carry four people safely. Charles McKenzie, a senior from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, served as the project manager for the 16-member team and received first place for his presentation skills.
The canoe competition consists of four parts: a design paper, an oral presentation, the overall aesthetics and a series of races to measure the canoe’s performance on water. The JSU concrete canoe, named Blue Bengal, won in four categories. In the men’s sprint event, Jonathan Atkins and Ennis Crosby finished first. In the men’s endurance race, Atkins and Samuel Rhoads finished second. In the co-ed sprint event, Rhoads, Donald Hendon, Tiffany Kellum, Kameron Boggan and Christine Edwards finished second. Hendon, McKenzie and Andrew Hooker participated in the surveying competition where they received first place, accumulating two first-place and one second-place finish in this category in the last three years. Other student members including McKenzie, Yulian Kebede, Ammanuiel Kebede, James Fairly, Philip Barnes, Allen Pugh, Vernon German, Ennis Crosby, Andrew Hooker, Chris Herron, worked on the actual design and construction. The surveying competition team secured another first-place victory.
This is the third year in which JSU has attended the competition. Dr. Himangshu S. Das, assistant professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, advises and oversees all activities of the chapter. By competing in all of the events, JSU will be eligible to proceed from the regional competition to the national level with a first-place finish.
Credit goes to the leadership demonstrated by Chris Herron, currently serving as a president and Yulian Kebede, serving as a vice president, for their leadership and hard work in fundraising and managing day-to-day activities of this very active student chapter, said Dr. Farshad Amini, professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
“This is an outstanding achievement by our students since this is only the third time for JSU to participate in the competition,” Amini said.