The U-M student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) traveled to Chicago for their annual trip on February 2-4. Forty-seven students attended the trip, along with six Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty members. Professors Carol Menassa, Jason McCormick, Vineet Kamat, Neda Masoud and Jerome Lynch joined the student group in Chicago.
During the three day trip, students visited construction and manufacturing sites in and around Chicago. Such as:
One Bennett Park
The CEE ASCE students visited the tallest residential building in Chicago, One Bennett Park, currently under construction. CEE Alumnus, Nate Sosin, a Senior Associate at Thorton Tomasetti, gave the tour. Thorton Tomasetti is the structural engineering firm working on the 70-story building. A few of the topics discussed included innovative solutions for minimizing torque from high winds and foundational considerations for large buildings in an urban setting.
“My favorite site visit was probably the building by the park. You are at the very top and can see the whole skyline of Chicago. It is amazing how our alumni are working on all of these different types of projects out in the industry. They are actually the civil engineers that built these buildings. It was really cool,” said Linnan Cao, president of the CEE ASCE student chapter.
ArcelorMittal Steel Mill in Indiana Harbor
The students also visited the ArcelorMittal Steel Mill located 20 miles southeast of Chicago. At 3,000 acres in size, the mill is the the largest integrated steel making facility in North America. The group saw the process of manufacturing steel beams, discussed material properties of steel and the recycling of its bi-products.
734 Sheridan with Arco Murray
The Arco Murray site at 734 Sheridan is a 10-story multi-use building currently under construction. CEE alumnus, Tim Clipfell, the Project Superintendent at ARCO/Murray led the tour. The tour started at the top floor, working the way down, with the floors being more complete as they went down. The group spoke about materials used, zoning, permitting and negotiating with the neighborhood habitants.
CEE ASCE president, Linnan Cao, is already thinking about possible sites for next year’s trip. “In the future we want to have even more diverse sites, more environmental sites like water treatment plants or visiting the airport,” said Cao.
On Friday evening, there was a reception for CEE students, faculty and alumni. There was an alumni panel that fielded career-oriented questions from the students and covered topics such as professional etiquette, education vs industry experience, how to land an internship and how to find your first job.
Students had a good networking experience. Cao added about the reception, “Most of the students made connections. Many of the students were majoring in construction management or structures. There were a lot of construction and structural engineering alumni there. Students interested in those areas made a lot of good connections.”
On Saturday, in addition to the site visits, the students were able to do some sightseeing while they were in Chicago. They visited the Bean, the Sky Deck, went to Chinatown for dim sum, had Chicago deep-dish pizza and went out on the town with some recent CEE alumni.
Based on the feedback Cao received, she felt the trip was a success. “As the organizer, the most important thing for me is for everyone to enjoy the trip. I got a lot of positive feedback on the schedule, the organization, the sites, the banquet and the overall experience.”