ASCE student chapter hosts 2022 regional symposium

7/10/2022 1:32:00 PM

WGL 2022 Executive Chair Jack Lawrence speaks during the awards ceremony. (Photo: Justin Shen)
WGL 2022 Executive Chair Jack Lawrence speaks during the awards ceremony. (Photo: Justin Shen)
Lieutenant General Scott A. Spellmon (MS 97), current Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, delivers the keynote address at the awards banquet. (Photo: Justin Shen)
Lieutenant General Scott A. Spellmon (MS 97), current Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, delivers the keynote address at the awards banquet. (Photo: Justin Shen)

By Jack Lawrence, CEE undergraduate

The UIUC student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) hosted the 2022 ASCE Western Great Lakes Student Symposium (WGL 2022) April 7-9.

The annual event brings together ASCE student chapter members to compete in a variety of civil engineering-focused competitions. Across the country, there are 21 regional student symposia that occur annually. The responsibility of hosting is rotated among all the schools of the region.

More than 450 students, faculty members and guests representing various companies and organizations attended the symposium in Urbana-Champaign. Students traveled from 19 universities scattered across the Midwest and Southern Canada. One university even competed virtually, all the way from Egypt!

The symposium program featured 11 competitions and three professional development events. The Illinois team excelled in nearly every event.

Senior Matt Groll checking bridge members for compliance with the rules. 
Senior Matt Groll checking bridge members for compliance with the rules. 
Members of the UIUC Steel Bridge team constructing their bridge. 
Members of the UIUC Steel Bridge team constructing their bridge. 

The team’s results are summarized below:

  • 1st place in the Geowall competition
  • 1st place in the Technical Paper competition
  • 1st place in the Construction Institute competition
  • 2nd place in the Volleyball Tournament
  • 2nd place in the Concrete Canoe competition
  • 2nd place in the Concrete Cornhole competition
  • 3rd place in the Surveying competition
  • 4th place in the Sustainable Solutions competition

The Illinois team also participated in the quiz bowl, scavenger hunt and steel bridge competitions. After appealing what was determined to be an incorrect disqualification, the UIUC Steel Bridge team qualified for nationals. They competed in Steel Bridge Nationals May 27-28 at Virginia Tech, finishing 15th out of 33 teams.

Junior Coleman Froehlke serving during the volleyball tournament.
Junior Coleman Froehlke serving during the volleyball tournament.

The symposium was capped off with an awards banquet held at the I Hotel and Conference Center. Illinois CEE alum Lieutenant General Scott A. Spellmon (MS 97), current Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, served as the keynote speaker. Spellmon discussed the importance of educating talented civil engineers so the country can satisfy changing infrastructure needs induced by climate change.   

WGL 2022 was the result of just over a year’s worth of planning by the executive committee, who were assisted by members of the ASCE Student Chapter. The student chapter managed to raise approximately $60,000 in order to host the event. Hundreds of hours were put in to make sure the event showcased the technical excellence and innovation of the Illinois CEE department.

The executive committee consisted of Executive Chair Jack Lawrence, associate chairs John Sadek and Nic Novak, and coordinators Michael Cano, Izabela Dimevska, Corey Michaels and Ally Kolar.

The executive committee would like to thank faculty members Jacob Henschen, Art Schmidt and John Popovics, senior undergraduate adviser Becky Stillwell, and Department Head Ana Barros for their support during the planning process.