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ASU's civil engineering students to host 2009 Deep South Conference March 26-28

Feb. 27, 2009 -- Twelve other universities will join Arkansas State University’s student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) as ASU hosts the 2009 Deep South Conference, Thursday through Saturday, March 26-28, in the Convocation Center and at Craighead Forest Park. ASCE is a student organization which meets and competes annually in various events, including steel bridge, concrete canoe, surveying, environmental, and a mystery category. Technical essays and presentations are also a portion of the competition.

Competing in this year’s event are ASU, Christian Brothers University, Jackson State University, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, University of Memphis, University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, University of New Orleans, Southern University, and University of Tennessee-Martin. Arkansas State’s chapter is advised by Dr. Tom Parsons, professor and director of Civil Engineering.

“The Deep South region consists of universities from eastern Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and western Tennessee,” said Brad Marotti, president of ASU’s ASCE student chapter. “This annual event allows the regional chapters to develop networking skills while participating in educational competition. The conference is held at each university once every 10 years, and this year is ASU’s turn.”

Arkansas State won back-to-back regional championships (2002-03) and is eight-time national competitors in steel bridge building.

The conference gets underway Thursday, March 26, with registration from 3-5 p.m. in the Convocation Center with a business meeting to follow at 7 p.m. Events start Friday (March 27) at 7:30 a.m. in the Convocation Center with a steel bridge aesthetics setup, followed by a captain’s meeting and the setup of concrete canoe presentations. Steel bridge competition runs from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., while concrete canoe presentation will be held from noon-4 p.m. Environmental competition also begins at noon.

Friday’s competition also includes the Mead paper which follows the “2009 National Daniel W. Mead Student Contest.” The topic is “Sustainability and Civil Engineering,” and participants are requested to write a paper to be formally presented at the conference.

Saturday’s events shift to Craighead Park Forest, and the day opens with the concrete canoe competition setup beginning at 7 a.m. A canoe captain meeting and aesthetics judging of the concrete canoes is at 8 a.m. Surveying competition runs from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., and a mystery competition is from 9-11:30 a.m.

In the mystery competition, engineering students are asked to use materials provided to them to accomplish a given task, interact with fellow students, build team work, and have fun. The task will be assigned at the time of competition.

For more information, contact Dr. Tom Parsons or Dr. Rick Clifft at 870-972-2088 or through e-mail at or



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