Taking a CUE from Tandon’s Civil and Urban Engineering students

ASCE Student Chapter Board

Jose Ulerio, faculty advisor, with the Tandon ASCE Student Chapter board members

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) at Tandon

“Everyone started in the fall excited about how well the previous year had gone and determined to work hard to make this year even better,” Christian Cardenas, the president of Tandon’s American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapter, says.

That excitement and hard work have already paid off: the group was recently named New York State’s Outstanding Student Chapter, an honor based upon the impressive scope and quality of the chapter’s activities, as well as the high level of student engagement. Not long after that win, the chapter received a Certificate of Commendation indicating that it was among the top 5% of the student chapters in the entire nation.

“We’ve run dozens of events, from resume and interviewing workshops and stress-reduction sessions to panel discussions and charity drives,” Cardenas explains, “and our faculty advisor, Jose Ulerio, has been with us every step of the way, setting the tone and showing us what we’re capable of.”

That capability has long been on clear display, especially during the ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition, which challenges students to design, build, and race a vessel that will float despite being made of a material that laypeople assume would sink upon being placed in water, and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Steel Bridge Competition, which requires students to conceive, design, fabricate, erect, and test a steel structure that meets client specifications and optimizes performance and economy. In 2018 both teams landed in the number-one spots in their respective regional competitions, and Cardenas hopes to continue that dominance. [See our latest coverage of the concrete canoe competition.]

“It is gratifying that our ASCE student chapter has been recognized by the national organization as the top in the state and one of the best in the whole country,” Magued Iskander, chair of the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering at Tandon, says. “That is due in large part to the strong efforts of the student officers, the dedication of their advisors, and the teamwork every member of the chapter exhibits. I hope the entire Tandon community joins me in congratulating them and in cheering them on as they represent our school on a broader stage.”

Tandon's ASCE Chapter’s leaders include:

  • President Christian Cardenas
  • Vice President Sarah Casaceli
  • Secretary Carol Shlyakhova
  • Treasurer Uma Lakshman
  • Public Relations Officer Abby Bonilla
  • Steel Bridge Team Captains Victor Alvarez and Tarah Driver
  • Concrete Canoe Team Captain Lara Lin


It’s not all Greek to these mentors

Chi Epsilon, the Civil Engineering Honor Society, was founded in 1922 and since then has recognized outstanding students and graduates for their scholarship, character, practicality and social engagement — qualities Tandon’s aspiring civil engineers have in abundance.

This year, members of the Chi Epsilon chapter here have launched a new initiative, pairing freshman and sophomore students with those closer to graduating for one-on-one mentoring.

“Our aim is to match students new to the department with Chi Epsilon members according to interests,” chapter president Tori Kirby explains, “so if someone is considering studying construction management or transportation, for example, we’ll find them a student mentor who has focused on those fields.”

Kirby hopes that the mentors will help the mentees explore career paths, give “survival” tips for difficult courses, and serve as a friendly, supportive connection.

“Membership in Chi Epsilon is based on GPA and class ranking,” Kirby says, “but more important than our academic standing is our first-hand experience as students in the department, our love of civil engineering, and our desire to help each other succeed.”


Tandon’s transportation engineers bowl over the competition

NYU ITE group shot
Members of Tandon’s student chapter of ITE at the 2019 Northeastern District Collegiate Traffic Bowl

In mid-April, Tandon hosted the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Collegiate Traffic Bowl, an annual game show-type competition that tests participants’ knowledge of transportation planning and engineering.

Members of Tandon’s student chapter of ITE — an international membership association that aims to improve mobility and safety for all transportation system users and help build smart and livable communities — landed in second place in the heated competition, with lightning-fast answers to a barrage of challenging questions.  

Savvy team members included Mateo Leon, Bruno Chede Cunha, Siva Sooryaa Muruga Thambiran, and Logan Wagner, and the team was led by NYU-ITE president Jingqin Gao and vice-president Reuben Juster.

Congratulations to all of them, as well as to their dedicated faculty advisor, Industry Assistant Professor Jack Bringardner.