Civil engineering students at the University of Evansville are able to be involved in several projects. They are required to participate in a freshman design project and a senior design project. They are also required to participate in projects during their sophomore and junior year. According to recent CE Alumni Survey results, 95% of graduates stated that the design projects prepared them to work on multi-disciplinary teams.
Below are the projects that are available to UE civil engineering students:
Freshman Balsa Wood Bridge
Balsa bridges are designed and built by all civil engineering freshmen in their Introduction to Engineering (ENGR 101) course. Students are assigned to two person teams and design, build, and test a balsa bridge. The goals of this project are to creatively design a bridge using a minimum amount of material to hold a maximum amount of weight - and to predict the mode of failure. The project gives students an opportunity to apply principles of statics and bridge construction that are learned in the classroom. Freshmen students are engaged in engineering design to provide them a high quality, personalized educational experience in engineering.
ASCE Concrete Canoe
The Concrete Canoe Competition, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), requires civil engineering students to design and fabricate a concrete canoe big enough to accommodate four people. Students compete against other universities in a two-day competition which includes men’s, women’s and coed races, a student presentation, evaluation of the student’s design report, and final product judging. The event challenges the students' knowledge, creativity and stamina, while showcasing the versatility and durability of concrete as a building material.
The University of Evansville advanced to the national competition in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013. In 2009 and 2013 UE placed first in the Great Lakes Region.
In 2011, UE students not only competed at the ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition, they also hosted the event – the smallest school ever invited to serve as the national competition host. In 2013 UE students won the Innovation Award at Nationals for their research into the strategic use of dimples on their canoe.
ASCE/AISC Steel Bridge
The Steel Bridge Competition, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), challenges civil engineering students to design, fabricate, and test a steel bridge. This competition offers future civil engineers the opportunity to display their skills in steel design, steel fabrication, and teamwork. Preparation begins months before the competition and involves computer modeling, material selection, fabrication, and rehearsal in assembling the bridge. At the competition, students race against the clock to join trusses, struts, beams, and columns to create a rigid steel bridge capable of spanning a distance of 20-feet. The event challenges the students' knowledge of structural analysis and steel design.
In 2009, the University of Evansville placed sixth in the Great Lakes Region -- our highest placement in the competition.
Warrick County Drainage Project
In order to alleviate flooding in a highly developed area along the Warrick and Vanderburgh County line, a team of seven civil engineering students worked with the Warrick County Engineer’s Office to perform a hydrologic and hydraulic analysis of Howard Ditch and its tributaries. Both Howard Ditch and Pigeon Creek were prone to flooding, as evidenced by a March 18, 2008 rainfall event that dumped over 6 inches of rain on the watershed in a 24-hour period.
The flooding problem was expected to increase with future development in Warrick County. The upper reach of Howard Ditch is in close proximity to the Ohio River, but the local topography forced runoff to flow over 25 miles to the mouth of Pigeon Creek on the west side of Evansville. To provide a permanent solution to the flooding, UE civil engineering students developed a plan to reverse the flow of water at the southern end of Howard Ditch and connect it to the Ohio River through a large box culvert and armored open channel. Students used GIS data, sophisticated Corps of Engineers models (HEC-HMS and HEC-RAS), and AutoCAD to complete the design. This challenging project provided UE civil engineering students with experience working with a client and developing a solution to a real-world problem.