Engineering students win state design project competition

Mar 8, 2016 | Engineering and Science

A team of four Louisiana Tech University civil engineering students have won first place in the senior design project competition at the Louisiana Transportation Conference 2016.
From L-R: Jean-Paul Sandrock, Morgan Harris, Herman Velazquez, Dalton Champagne

From L-R: Jean-Paul Sandrock, Morgan Harris, Herman Velazquez, Dalton Champagne

Jean-Paul Sandrock, Herman Velazquez, Dalton Champagne and Morgan Harris presented their award-winning project, “T.L. James Lake Pedestrian Bridge” competing against teams from the University of New Orleans, Louisiana State University and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The Louisiana Tech civil engineering program received a $1,000 award for the first-place project.
The project, sponsored by the Louisiana Purchase Council, was incorporated into a senior design course taught by Dr. Henry Cardenas, associate professor of mechanical engineering; and Dr. Nazimuddin Wasiuddin, associate professor of civil engineering and construction engineering technology and advisor for the Transportation Leadership Council (TLC.) Both civil and mechanical engineering students participated in the senior design experience, with teams taking on a variety of design challenges that matched their academic background and personal interests.
Dr. Fatmir Menkulasi, assistant professor of civil engineering and construction engineering technology and team advisor for the hands-on portion of the project, said that while the College of Engineering and Science’s hands-on learning method played an important role in the success of the project, the award is also the result of the group’s hard work.
“The students in the T.L. James Pedestrian Bridge Group have been exceptional,” Menkulasi said. “They showed ownership of the project and undertook every task with great enthusiasm and confidence. Their dedication and eagerness to learn paid off at the Conference, where they were awarded the first place.”
Dr. David Hall, director of civil engineering, construction engineering technology and mechanical engineering at Louisiana Tech, also serves as the associate director of the Southern Plains Transportation Center (SPTC). The SPTC funded travel for all the Louisiana Tech students through the TLC student chapter at Louisiana Tech.
“Our senior design approach at Louisiana Tech links student teams with real-world projects provided by industrial, public and private contacts,” Hall said. “In this case, the design work completed by these senior students benefits a Boy Scout camp here in North Louisiana. We are proud that their accomplishments were recognized at the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Conference.”
In addition to the capstone team, senior civil engineering students Taylor Tuggle, Bryce Pfeiffer, Paden Sparks and Victor Zumaran were in attendance.
The first-place team will make a final presentation of the “T.L. James Lake Pedestrian Bridge” project to the Civil Engineering Advisory Board this May.
Written by Brandy McKnight –