Orediggers bring home awards from Pacific Northwest ASCE Student Symposium


Montana Technological University's American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Club competed in the Pacific Northwest ASCE Student Symposium at Montana State University on April 14-15, 2023. Montana Tech co-hosted the Symposium with Carroll College, Montana State University, and Montana State University-Northern. The Montana Tech team brought home top honors for the timber-strong design build competition and for its Building Information Modeling (BIM) model. The Tech team also placed 3rd in concrete canoe for the women's sprint and 3rd in surveying.


Assistant professor and lab director Bret Robertson advises the team. Montana Tech students and team members include Cauy Wyrick, Avery Londo, Jayden Petroff, Hunter Buffum, Holden Bailey, Wayne Ascheman, Jared Griffith, Mehana Benson, Ty McGurran, Tucker Greenwell, Grady Koenig, Pierce Brown, Sami Connerton, Rhett Donnelly, Evan Johnson, Gavin Dolechek, Mattias Brand, Rilee Green, Koby Martin, Maria Burke, McKoy Gebhardt, Lamb Rowdy, St. John Tyson, Brandon Quinn, Michael Nehring, Matt Dang, and Landers Smith. 


“This competition is a great way to get civil students interested in the field and working on real projects” said Londo. “This year we had an amazing team, learned so much, and created a great community!”


Twelve university teams competed this year. Other colleges that participated in the 2023 events were Gonzaga, Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Saint Martin's University, Seattle University, University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of British Columbia, University of Idaho, University of Portland, University of Washington, and Washington State University. 

Montana Tech, was the only team to compete in all six competitions. On Friday, the Orediggers competed in steel bridge, paper competition, timber strong, sustainable solutions, and surveying. On Saturday, the team raced concrete canoes.

Since the early 1970s, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapters have competed to be the best at designing, constructing, and racing concrete canoes. During that time, canoe mixtures and designs have varied, but the long-established tradition of teamwork, camaraderie, and spirited competition has been constant. Each year, teams, their associates, judges, and other participants build upon this tradition. This year, teams answered a call for Technical Proposals and Enhanced Focus Area Reports. The challenge required the team to secure a winning bid on a prototype standardized canoe design for future concrete canoe competitions. Montana Tech competed in concrete canoe for the first time in 10 years in 2022. 

"I started the chapter's annual dinner in Fall 2020, and six students showed up," noted Robertson. "Competing and placing almost three years later from that start point is beyond what I could have imagined. I have an incredible group of students that dedicate many hours per week to ASCE. Two of those first six students, Jared Griffith and Avery Londo, will be seniors next year. Because of them, this chapter has entered into the next level."

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is comprised of over 150,000 members across the globe, both on the collegiate level and the professional level. Student chapters of ASCE are connected to universities nationwide, providing college students with the resources and opportunities they need to succeed in becoming civil engineers. By joining the Montana Tech chapter of ASCE, you will be connected with other civil engineering students who are further along in their degrees, be able to network with many different professionals through our speaker events, go on field trips to various civil engineering facilities, and participate in fun and skill-building civil engineering activities. On the national level, being a member of ASCE will give you access to many resources, including career resources, mentorship programs, scholarships and fellowships, and much more!

Montana Tech offers a bachelor of science in Civil Engineering and a master's degree in General Engineering. Montana Tech's Civil Engineering Department empowers students to identify and solve complex engineering problems by applying engineering, science, and mathematics principles through its ABET-accredited program. Dedicated faculty are at the forefront of their field, with numerous opportunities to assist in ongoing research open to both graduates and undergraduate students. 

For more information about Montana Tech's civil engineering program, please visit https://www.mtech.edu/civil-engineering/index.html