The ASCE Board Executive Committee approved recommendations from the Committee on Student Members to establish new protocols for ASCE Student Chapters, steel bridge participants, and Student Conference organizers affected by the recent change in the Student Steel Bridge Competition.
With the exception of the Student Steel Bridge Competition, ASCE plans to maintain an ongoing working relationship with the American Institute of Steel Construction, and will continue to collaborate on technical standards and activities.
“We will continue to support our student members in their endeavors as we have in the past,” said Chuck Black, P.E., M.ASCE, ASCE Executive Committee member and Region 4 director. “We believe that our Student Conferences are important to the civil engineering student’s education and development.”
Guidance relating to ASCE Student Conferences
• The AISC Steel Bridge Competition will only be sponsored by AISC, and therefore is no longer recognized as an official activity of ASCE Student Conferences.
• ASCE Student Conference hosts who do not wish to include the AISC Steel Bridge Competition in their program are not obligated to do so.
• If host schools desire to have an AISC Steel Bridge Competition, they should treat this as a separate event from the ASCE Student Conference, requiring separate funding, registration, and liability coverage for the AISC competition.
Guidance relating to ASCE Student Chapters
• AISC steel bridge teams are no longer official activities of ASCE Student Chapters.
• Individual students may be members of both the AISC Steel Bridge Competition team and the ASCE Student Chapter, but all recruiting, fundraising, and preparations for the steel bridge team must be kept entirely separate from ASCE Student Chapter activities.
• All civil engineering students are encouraged to maintain their individual memberships in their ASCE Student Chapter.
In addition to the new protocols, the Committee on Student Members authored a Frequently Asked Questions document to help guide Student Chapters.
ASCE has appointed a task force to address the long-term need for innovative, global student competitions.
AISC announced July 27 that it would terminate its long-time partnership with ASCE for the National Student Steel Bridge Competition, effective immediately.
According to AISC, two factors drove its decision to terminate the partnership:
• A desire by AISC to focus on the domestic market (international universities have been participating since at least 1999)
• Interest in opening the competition to teams that do not meet ASCE’s eligibility standards for national competition
ASCE has stated that these changes are incompatible with its organizational mission and values.
“ASCE strongly believes that ASCE-affiliated competitions should be open to all ASCE student chapters that meet eligibility standards for national competition,” read a letter from ASCE President Kristina Swallow and ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith informing Student Chapter advisors of AISC’s decision. This would include teams currently participating from student chapters located in Canada, Mexico, and China.
AISC organized the first local steel bridge competition in 1987, in Michigan. A national competition followed in 1992, and in 2000 AISC and ASCE signed their first agreement to include the steel bridge competition as an official ASCE Student Conference event. An estimated 10,000 civil engineers have participated in the competition as undergraduate students.