Illinois Tech’s Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe teams will participate in their respective national conferences later this summer. This marks the first time in school history that both teams will be competing at the national level. ASCE-IIT participates each year in the Great Lakes Student Conference (GLSC), which consists of 19 schools from across the Great Lakes Region. This year, the competition was hosted by University of Illinois at Chicago April 19–21.
After a stellar performance at GLSC, Illinois Tech’s Steel Bridge team took home first place overall, giving them a ticket straight to nationals. Looking at individual categories, the team placed first in economy, efficiency, and construction speed. In the other three categories, lightness, display, and stiffness, Illinois Tech took second. The National Conference will be held at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on Friday, May 25 and Saturday, May 26. Mike Desch, Gyajan Maharjan, Jonathon Clarke, Micki Chung, Zachary Haney, and Shaam Patel will travel to the competition later this month.
Illinois Tech’s Concrete Canoe team also put forth an excellent effort, and although they finished in the top third of the conference, it was unfortunately not enough to send them to nationals. However, there was a new rule implemented into the competition for the first time this year. Six “Wildcard” teams would be selected to compete in the National Competition along with the top teams from each conference. To be considered for a Wildcard spot, a team had to have finished in the top half of their respective conference, along with several other requirements. There were 37 eligible teams, and after much suspense, Illinois Tech was the final school selected for a Wildcard spot. This year’s National Concrete Canoe Competition is being hosted by San Diego State University Saturday, June 23 through Sunday, June 25. The six members who will be competing at the conference include Daksh Patel, Rafal Walus, Aaron Grudowski, Piotr Maciolek, Audrey Van Linn, and Stephanie Wasag.