As spring turns to summer here on campus, we wanted to recap just some of the outstanding work our students do together in our student organizations. At Civil and Environmental Engineering, our student organizations are an important part of what we do and who we are. Our students faced unprecedented situations this year, and they quickly adapted to meet the challenges of the day and push forward. We’re so proud of all the work they do each year. Here are just some of the highlights and updates from the 2019-2020 academic year:
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
ASCE is a group of engineers focused on professional development, community outreach, social activities and recruitment into the civil and environmental engineering profession. This year they helped lead a Career Fair with around 60 participating companies, hosted 29 professional speakers at their weekly Speaker Series, help facilitate the annual CEE department food drive, assisted in building a playground, ran activities for an elementary school’s STEM night and hosted a Chicago Employers Webinar and Panel.
Blockchain at Michigan (BAM)
Blockchain at Michigan aims to prepare students in the blockchain space by providing professional development opportunities alongside industry partners, building educational resources with multidisciplinary facets and aiding students in meaningful research and project development. They had many highlights from throughout the year including hosting three blockchain workshops, launching their first-ever consulting semester with personal projects, and sending representatives to speak at the Voice of Blockchain conference in Chicago and the Blockchain Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. As if that weren’t enough, last summer club representatives were able to compete in the Blockchain Olympiad in Hong Kong where they placed first!
Chi Epsilon, the National Honor Society for Civil and Environmental Engineers, is a group of individuals who showcase high scholarly achievement, character, practicality and sociability. The chapter inducted a new member class during the Fall 2019 semester, but had to push back the induction of the Winter 2020 class due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This academic year they were able to hear about the exciting and relevant research that professors have been doing at their bi-weekly dinner and discussion meetings. Throughout the fall semester, they held many social gatherings with a capstone banquet that was held at the Michigan League, and as usual, it included a delicious dinner and vibrant discussions between members, initiates and faculty.
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)
The goal of the EERI is to help students improve their understanding of the impact of earthquakes in multidisciplinary aspects and advance their knowledge in the science and the practice of earthquake engineering in mitigating earthquake risk. Some highlights from the year include a series of three lectures on seismic engineering and a competition in San Diego, California! Their model survived through the first ground motion but fell during the pulse at the end of the second ground motion. With their significant efforts in researching, designing and constructing these models this year they hope to apply what they have learned to improve their performance in future competitions.
GeoInstitute Student Organization (GSO)
This group of graduate students organizes activities among students from different backgrounds with the common goal of promoting geotechnical engineering education. The chapter’s main focus is to organize a series of seminars that bring practitioners and academics to campus to share their knowledge on geotechnical-related topics.
GrEENPEAS is a community-focused organization that aims to promote social and professional relationships among the graduate students, staff, faculty and alumni at CEE. Some highlights from their year include: hosting the annual CEE 5K run in the Arboretum, managing compost in the EWRE building, hosting CEE coffee hours and bagel Fridays (even virtually!), and helping recruit volunteers for the 2020 Michigan University-wide Sustainability & Environment (MUSE) conference.
Michigan Concrete Canoe Team (MCCT)
The Michigan Concrete Canoe Team is a multidisciplinary engineering hands-on experience. They compete each year with teams all across the nation in designing, building, testing and racing a canoe that’s made entirely out of concrete. Though the pandemic derailed their competition, the team was fortunate enough to complete their alien-themed canoe named “Kepler.” The team was also proud of their written technical paper which reflected their hard work and dedication to the project.
Michigan Transportation Student Organization (MiTSO)
MiTSO’s mission is to create meaningful experiences and lasting connections for students interested in transportation, through various events such as field trips, networking events and speaker events. Over the course of the last year, they were able to tour the Oakland Transportation Operation Center and the Detroit Q-Line, host a career fair, and participate in the Second Annual Transportation Technology Tournament in Austin, Texas where they won the championship! The organization hopes to go back to the tournament again in the fall.
Pantanal Partners seeks to use sustainable technology and community-oriented design as a medium to improve quality of life for residents of the Pantanal region of Brazil, expand research and environmental stewardship in the region, and equip members with the skills to effectively engage with different cultures. This year they were able to increase their Giving Blueday exposure and raise approximately $2,000 for their organization and its mission.
Steel Bridge Team
The Steel Bridge Team is one of the student project teams housed in the Wilson Student Team Project Center (WSTPC). Each year they design, fabricate and construct a 20-ft steel bridge for a competition. They held workshops for their members and helped each new member get through basic training by forming mentor groups between new members and old members so that each person could have a hand in fabrication. In the fall semester, their members were able to gain this unique and valuable experience and many even were able to help create the samples. Also during the fall semester, the Steel Bridge team used some of its funds to purchase canned goods to donate to the CEE Food Drive!
Sustainability, Civil, and Environmental Engineering Minorities At the University of Michigan (SCEEM)
SCEEM is focused on fostering a socially conscious community of diverse students within Sustainability, Urban Planning, Civil & Environmental Engineering programs. They aspire to create a safe space for dialogue and relationship building between students, faculty and alumni. Some highlights from this year include having a 20+ person turn out for their first meeting. They were able to facilitate an excellent discussion on environmental injustices in relation to climate change.
Theme Park Engineering Group (TPEG)
The Theme Park Engineering Group serves to immerse students in the theme park and roller coaster design industries. They have weekly meetings, hosted speakers, networking opportunities, group trips and design projects that encourage open conversation, idea sharing and cross-disciplinary collaboration as necessary preparation for relevant careers in amusement engineering and design. One of their biggest achievements from the year was developing and using their own intellectual property in their very own haunted house. Though many recent competitions were either canceled or delayed due to COVID-19, they were able to take seven students to Orlando, Florida to compete in the Ryerson Thrill Design Competition. They came back to campus with two awards: the Roller Coaster Design Award and the People’s Choice Award.
This article is included in the Fall 2020 issue of the CEE Review magazine. Visit the issue home page to see other articles.