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Virtual WVU Tech ASCE Technical Conference to connect engineers to experts across the world

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WVU Tech’s annual American Society of Civil Engineers Technical Conference has been going strong for more than half a century.

For Dr. Tigra Yang, ASCE student chapter advisor and WVU Tech civil engineering professor, it’s an event built on the simple premise of an exchange of ideas.

“The ASCE Technical Conference brings the best speakers from the civil engineering industry. These professionals share their experiences with projects and answer challenging questions from the audience. The technical conference is very knowledgeable and practical,” he said. “It also provides a great opportunity to create a professional network in West Virginia. Lots of Tech graduates love to come back to campus to have a small gathering and talk to faculty.”

This year’s conference will be hosted online as the University maintains COVID-19 safety protocols. But the group’s organizers have used the new format to overhaul the event.

“Businesses that would normally not be able to attend can. This opens up networking for students and attendees. Having this conference online gives us the opportunity to have a diverse selection of speakers that normally wouldn’t be attainable,” said WVU Tech student and ASCE chapter Vice President Lauren Owens.

Scheduled for Thursday, November 19, this year’s conference will be hosted in a virtual format, allowing organizers to connect engineers with presenters from around the world. It will also bring in speakers from six countries to share insight on unique engineering challenges.

Presenters include:

  • Dr, Yuan-Jung Tsai, Assistant Professor at Disaster Prevention Research Center of National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan;
  • Ting-Chi Tsao, Principal Engineer in the Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment Research Group at Sinotech Engineering Consultants, Inc, Taiwan;
  • Dr. Ismail Zohdy, Program Manager at the Roads and Transport Authority of the government of Dubai, United Arab Emirates;
  • Jupiter Bakakeu Ngassam, Research Scientist in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Institute for Factory Automation and Production Systems, Germany;
  • Dr. Koray Ulamis, Research Associate Professor in the Department of Geological Engineering at Ankara University, Turkey;
  • Ertan Ozmen, P.E., Vice President of Engineering Operations at Clifton Associates Ltd, in Alberta, Canada;
  • And Dr. Sherif Elfass, P.E., Research Associate Professor in the Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research at the University of Nevada, Reno.
ASCE chapter president Hayley Logan has been helping to organize the conference for a few years and is excited about its new, broader reach.

“Being able to have more diverse and global speakers gives students and attendees more understanding of civil engineering around the world. It also gives international students and people looking to work outside of the US more insight on things globally,” she said.

Conference attendees can expect to learn about a wide range of civil engineering projects and best practices. Professionals can also earn seven professional development hours for their attendance.

“During this global pandemic, there are lots of technical conferences that have been delayed or canceled. This conference will be a great opportunity for engineers to receive PDHs without traveling,” said Yang.

For Logan, it’s also a powerful opportunity for students to build professional connections.

“This conference is such an amazing opportunity not only for attendees but for students as well. The main benefit to students attending this conference is to learn about civil engineering as a whole and to dig deeper into what civil engineers actually do on the job,” she said.

“Another benefit is to network. I realize networking will be a little harder during a virtual conference, but I really encourage students to join and get their names out there.”

ASCE members can attend the conference for $80 while non-ASCE members can attend for $100. Retirees can purchase tickets for $50. College students and faculty can attend free of charge.

To register, visit https://forms.gle/BuxeAwYSQsXeaZEM8.

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