Penn State Harrisburg, York College to host engineering competition April 13-15

The ASCE Mid-Atlantic West Student Symposium features competitions such as concrete canoe races and steel bridge construction
Students wearing hard hats and too belts work to construct a steel bridge during a previous ASCE event.

During the ASCE Mid-Atlantic West Student Symposium, students compete in civil engineering challenges, such as the steel bridge competition. 

Credit: ASCE

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Penn State Harrisburg and York College of Pennsylvania will host the 2023 American Society of Civil Engineers Mid-Atlantic West Student Symposium, an event that will draw student teams from colleges around the region to participate in engineering-themed competitions.

This is the first time Penn State Harrisburg has hosted the event, which will be held April 13-15. Most of the events take place on the Penn State Harrisburg campus. The concrete canoe races and surveying competition will take place at Gifford Pinchot State Park in Lewisberry.

The symposium features several engineering competitions, including:

  • Concrete Canoe Competition, in which student chapters compete at designing, constructing and racing concrete canoes. (Races 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 14, at Gifford Pinchot State Park).
  • Steel Bridge Competition, which challenges students to develop a concept for a scale-model steel bridge to span approximately 20 feet andto carry 2,500 pounds, and to assemble it under timed conditions. (9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, April 15, at Penn State Harrisburg in the Olmsted West parking lot).
  • Surveying Competition, which requires students to use standard field and office equipment and procedures to solve common problems encountered in industry. (9 a.m. – noon and 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 14, at Gifford Pinchot State Park).
  • Sustainable Solutions Competition, which challenges students to plan for the revitalization of a fictional city block, to develop a stronger understanding of sustainability and learn to incorporate sustainable solutions into everyday problems. (Presentations 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturday April 15, at Penn State Harrisburg in Olmsted Building Room W117)

The symposium also includes a leadership workshop, career fair and networking event, banquet, and awards ceremony. Winners of the student competitions advance to the national level. Penn State Harrisburg Chancellor John M. Mason Jr. and ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith will be keynote speakers at the banquet and awards ceremony.

Student chapters from 11 colleges are expected to participate: Penn State Harrisburg, Penn State University Park, University of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh - Johnstown, George Washington University, York College of Pennsylvania, Catholic University, Howard University, Slippery Rock University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Geneva College.

For more information, contact Shashi Marikunte, associate teaching professor of civil engineering, at [email protected].