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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU students win top awards in civil engineering competition

Hard work and practice paid off for civil engineering students from New Mexico State University as they brought home top awards from a regional competition for the second year on a row.

About 325 students from 13 schools in New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota and Utah participated in the Rocky Mountain Regional Conference sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers April 8 and 9 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

The competition consisted of several events, including a concrete canoe competition and a steel bridge competition, both won by NMSU. Students also created bottle rockets launched by air compressors and presented research papers on various technical topics.

NMSU students Ashley Wilson, Shannon Roe, Brian Smith and Eddie Montoya led the team that won the concrete canoe championship with their canoe, Ojo del Tigre. Students were judged on the construction of the canoe, a technical paper about its construction, and aesthetics. NMSU placed first in all categories.

The canoe also had to float after being submerged in water and there were three races. NMSU placed first in the women's sprint, fourth in the men's sprint and second in the coed sprint.

Jed Roanhorse, Max Lopez, Cody Sipes and Robert Fierro, all of NMSU, led the team that won the steel bridge competition when they created a 22-foot span bridge that could hold 2,500 pounds. The bridge was judged on construction time, deflection and the weight of the bridge.

NMSU student Jose Solis won second place for the presentation of his technical paper "Evapotranspiration of Salt Cedar."

"They worked hard and did a terrific job," said Craig Newtson, assistant professor of civil engineering and an adviser to the students. "It's nice to see hard work pay off."

NMSU also won the concrete canoe competition and the overall conference championship at last year's competition. "They wanted to repeat their wins, but they exceeded their expectations," Newtson said.

The steel bridge team will now advance to a national competition to be held in Orlando May 27-29. The concrete canoe team will advance to a national competition that will be held in Clemson, S.C., June 25-27.