ASU had strong representation at the 2013 Geo-Challenge held in San Diego, Calif. in March. ASU students were selected to participate in all three competitions: Geo-Wall, Geo-Prediction and Geo-Poster—one of only three schools to be represented in each category.
GeoChallenge is a set of student competitions sponsored by the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Finalists in the competition are invited to the Geo-Institute’s annual meeting to compete against the top teams in each category.
Graduate students Sean O’Donnel and Daniel Rosenbalm and undergraduate students Devinne Ramirez and Oscar Garcia made up the Geo-Wall team. They were tasked with designing and building a model mechanically stabilized earth retaining wall using paper reinforcement taped to a posterboard wall facing. The goal is to use the least amount of reinforcement needed to support the soil plus withstand both horizontal and vertical loads.
Graduate student Brian Knorr and undergraduate student Evan Benson made up the Geo-Prediction team. The competition tested their ability to predict the behavior of a real-world geotechnical system. This year, the challenge was to evaluate groundwater table conditions at the time of a slope failure.
Three graduate students—Ana Gutierrez, Angel Gutierrez, and Sean O’Donnel—were invited to present their research in the Geo-Poster forum. Participant abstracts were judged by a panel of students from several universities based on technical content, compliance with rules and regulations, and professionalism. The top 25 were invited to present at the conference.
All of the students are in the civil, environmental and sustainable engineering program in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment.
Over 300 students from across the country attended the event.
The Geo-Institute is a specialty membership organization focused on geo-professionals and the geo-industry. It is one of the American Society of Civil Engineer’s eight specialty institutes. Its membership of over 11,000 individuals and 60 organizational members includes engineers, scientists, technologies, students and organizations interested in improving the environment, mitigating natural hazards and economically constructing engineered facilities.