Auburn Students Win Award at International Civil Engineering Competition

Published: Mar 3, 2006 5:36:22 PM
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Auburn University tied for second place in the International ASCE GeoInstitute student competition. The four-student team competed against teams from 14 schools across the country and three international teams. The Auburn team members were Andrew James, David Hayes and Brian Kane, all master's students in civil engineering, and Trent Turner, a senior.

Held entirely on the web, the competition occurred on Feb. 26, as part of Geo-Congress, an annual conference showcasing advancements in geotechnical engineering sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Geo-Institute. During the Geo-Congress meeting in Atlanta, teams were allowed to participate from remote locations. The students were given a real-world issue and could use only internet and computer resources to solve a problem. This year, each team formulated a report on the New Orleans levee failure, compiling facts about the soil conditions, levee construction and failure mechanisms. A design for prevention of a similar disaster was then submitted; a formal technical paper was sent electronically and a list of resources presented for judging.

"Winning this competition is an impressive feat," said David Elton, an associate professor in civil engineering and sponsor of this year's team. "Our students were exceptionally well prepared, and even the judges commented on how difficult it was to choose between the first and second place teams."

The Auburn students received a $500 award for second place. First place honors went to the University of Missouri at Rolla team. Auburn shares second place honors with students from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.