Sorry I have been off-blog for over a week. Things can get crazy as we all know. Collegiate activities accelerate after Spring Break, which was the first week of March for the Florida universities. Now we are on to midterms, finishing projects and competitions. So this weekend is the southeast competition for ASCE student chapters. Those of you who are civil engineers likely remember the competitions. Concrete canoes, steel bridges, soil stabilization, water treatment (filters), and a variety of other “contest” abound. We had concrete Frisbees when I was in school. I think I saw where a school in Oregon has carried on a tradition that has never made it to the southeast competition. Some think these competitions are purely a weekend on fun, but that fails to recognize the effort put into the contests by students. Yeah, it’s fun, but a concrete canoe takes many hours of effort by dozens of student to insure it floats. Problem solving is needed to insure the concrete is both lightweight and strong enough to hold up. Might get rammed you know. Seen it happen. It is a good place to meet other students and faculty to exchange ideas. Many practicioners act as judges to the connection to the “real” world is present as well.
We get back from the ASCE contest for the Concrete Expo on campus, which is an opportunity for the students to meet practicioners in a seminar environment (outside of course). It is an opportunity to meet students and very helpful if you are looking for the next generation of people to fill your jobs. Except that we are seeing most of our seniors with jobs before they graduate, sometimes as early as late junior year. That means the economy is improving so jump on the good students early.
After the concrete expo we have the FWEA student water/wastewater design contest. So our students are competing and their project is an indirect potable reuse concept to recharge wellfields for a local community that has looked at the idea. We have researched the subject here before and did some work to demonstrate we could remove phosphorous to under 10 ppb and remove the constituents of emerging concern – the pharmaceuticals etc. Worked great and I think most of our papers are out on the project. Our students looked at and improved it for their contest entry. Then it is time for the FE, final capstone projects and graduation. So much in a month.
And somehow I missed St. Paddy’s day……