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Civil Engineering Team Qualifies for National Competition

May 08, 2019

A team of six Angelo State University civil engineering students is one of only eight teams nationwide that has been invited to compete in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Blue Sky Competition at the 2019 ASCE Student Conference June 6-8 in Melbourne, Fla.

ASU RAMgineers: (L to R) Dr. Anthony Battistini (faculty advisor), L.J. Liang, Andrew An, Emma Re...ASU RAMgineers: (L to R) Dr. Anthony Battistini (faculty advisor), L.J. Liang, Andrew An, Emma Reyes, Abner Arteaga, John Jefferies, Nicholas GillettThe ASU “RAMgineers” team was invited to the national competition after finishing second overall in the regional Blue Sky Competition at the ASCE Texas-Mexico Student Conference in April at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville. This was the first time for an ASU team to compete in an ASCE competition.

The goal of the Blue Sky Competition is to identify visionary ideas that address long-term engineering challenges, as well as to explore ideas for future ASCE student competitions. The RAMgineers entered their project proposal titled “Retrofit” through presentations in Oral, Marketing and Technical categories that were judged by a panel of industry and education experts. ASU finished first in Marketing and second in both Oral and Technical at the regional level to earn the invitation to the national contest.

Dr. William KitchDr. William KitchDr. William Kitch, chair of ASU’s David L. Hirschfeld Department of Engineering, said, “Reaching this national-level competition the first time out of the chute is a testament to both the quality of our students and the rigor of the engineering program we’ve built here at Angelo State.  The students have a brilliant concept in their proposal. Most competitions ask students to build a new project from scratch. However, in the real world, most civil engineering projects start with an existing system than needs to be upgraded or improved. Our students have captured this reality in their ‘Retrofit’ proposal. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

ASU team members include:

  • Sungjae “Andrew” An of Seoul, South Korea
  • Abner Arteaga of Del Rio
  • Nicholas Gillett of San Angelo
  • John Jefferies of San Angelo 
  • Jiahao “L.J.” Liang of Fenyang, South Korea
  • Emma Reyes of San Angelo

Their project, “Retrofit,” addresses society’s infrastructure needs by requiring students to redesign an existing structure which has been damaged by a natural disaster. The inspiration for the proposal came from seeing the projects engineers have taken on in the recovery effort from Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Most of the engineering projects related to recovery from Harvey are not building new structures, but upgrading or retrofitting existing facilities to meet new demands.

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