The American Society of Civil Engineers (better known as ASCE) was founded in 1852 and it is the oldest national engineering society in the United States. The student chapter of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez is currently one of the biggest chapters nationwide and the biggest in Puerto Rico with over 200 active members. Their purpose as a chapter and student association is to provide students with the tools and opportunities to develop and acquire skills and experiences in areas such as mathematics and sciences related to Civil Engineering.
On a yearly basis, students from 26 universities from the southeast region of the United States from Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Puerto Rico, as well as from other countries such as China, gather to compete in the ASCE’s regional competition. This year, the competition will be taking place at the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, from March 28th to March 30th. The delegation consists of 44 students which will participate in 18 events related to different disciplines within Civil Engineering. UPRM’s chapter has always been able to maintain a high level of competitiveness and prestige, managing to win the Regional Championship in 2003, 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2018, and reaching second place in 2014, 2015, and 2017. The team will participate in the competition titled Shake It Off.
Shake It Off is a newly introduced competition that consists of applying seismic engineering knowledge to design and construct a model of a building out of balsa wood in order to have it tested against simulated earthquakes in a shake table. Teams will be evaluated based on three criteria: performance against the simulated earthquakes, weight, and total floor area. This means that the tower not only has to be optimally designed to withstand the earthquakes, but that it must also allow for the biggest floor space possible using the least amount of material. Additionally, the tower will also have to be able to sustain up to 38 pounds of weight on it, which represents the building’s own weight as well as the weight of the parts inside it. The university whose tower manages to perform better than the other’s in all criteria is declared the winner.
F&R Construction Group, Inc. keeps contributing to the development of the Civil Engineering Students of Puerto Rico by sponsoring their participation in nationwide known competitions.