Purdue University Northwest ASCE surveying team takes first place at national competition

June 21, 2023
Two students pose with a trophy

Purdue University Northwest’s (PNW) American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student surveying team made PNW history by winning the 2023 ASCE Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI) Surveying Society-wide Finals Competition, held June 10-12 at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. In addition to taking first place overall at nationals, the team also placed first in the field surveying competition. The PNW team finished ahead of 15 other teams from across the nation.

Three students pose with trophies

From left to right, PNW Civil Engineering students Quinton Pender, Krish Zalavadia and Natalia Briggs display their 2023 ASCE UESI Surveying Society-wide Finals Competition first place award and their first place award in the field surveying competition.

PNW’s team advanced to nationals by taking first place at the Indiana-Kentucky Region 4 competition, where they also achieved second place for field surveying, and third place for topographic mapping.

Team members Natalia Briggs, third-year Civil Engineering major; Quinton Pender, fourth-year Civil Engineering major; and Krish Zalavadia, third-year Civil Engineering major, attended the national competition, with Dylan Barthel, third-year Civil Engineering major, assisting the team’s win at the regional competition.

Smallest team, extraordinary effort

PNW fielded the smallest team competing at nationals with only three members. All other universities had five to six students vying for the title. This demonstrates the exceptional ability and skill of the PNW students, who strategically carried out competition tasks while maintaining compliance to rules and regulations.

“This mattered because you get penalized points if a member does more than three tasks out of the four,” said Zalavadia. “There were tasks which only one or two of us did in order to not get penalized.”

Pender, the team captain, added, “It just goes to show that you don’t need a huge group or an expensive getup in order to come out on top. All you need is dedication and proper teamwork and to just have fun with it.”

The team’s historic win reflects the quality academics and training provided by PNW’s Civil Engineering program, which is a part of the university’s nationally recognized School of Engineering in the College of Engineering and Sciences.

“Performing well in these events can open doors to new opportunities, such as scholarships, sponsorships or even future career prospects,” said Briggs.

Faculty advisor Wubeshet Woldemariam, assistant professor of Civil Engineering, added, “The team members worked so hard, and they made us proud by winning the competition. I am so happy about the team and its accomplishments.”

“The team members have worked very hard, and they made us proud by their success,” said Dietmar Rempfer, interim dean of the College of Engineering and Sciences and director of the School of Engineering. “I am thrilled about our team and its accomplishments. This victory showcases the exceptional talent and dedication of our civil engineering students at Purdue University Northwest. It is a testament to their skills, teamwork and the quality of education they receive. We congratulate them on this historic win and look forward to more successes in the future.”

For more information about PNW’s School of Engineering, visit pnw.edu/engineering.