Cal Poly Concrete Canoe Team is Tip-Tops in the Nation
June 21, 2017
Cal Poly’s concrete canoe team — and a canoe named Meraki —took first place at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) National Concrete Canoe Competition, held June 17-19 at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo.
"Meraki translates from Greek into pouring one’s heart and soul into a project,” said Ian Buchanan (San Diego), team project manager. And seeing it translated into a major win was especially uplifting.
“It’s surreal,” said construction captain Dillan Quigley (Orcutt, Calif.). “It hasn’t really hit us yet. We’re walking on a cloud right now.”
Other construction captains included Carson Burand (Pueblo, Colo.), Brandon Friedman (Northridge, Calif.), Hailey Bond (Mesa, Calif.) and Jacky Loh (Arcadia, Calif.). Mix captains were Jacky Mata (Oxnard, Calif.), Michael McMahon (Chico, Calif.), Amy Xu (Bakersfield, Calif.), Ashley Cruz (Elk Grove, Calif.) and Kyle Aube (Huntington Beach, Calif). Other team members included Scott Kaufman (Lander, Wyo.) and Grace Melgard (Boise, Idaho).
Cal Poly is no stranger to the concrete canoe winner’s circle. This marks the school’s 11th top-five finish at nationals in the last 12 years, including a three-year run of championships from 2010 to 2012.
“Each Cal Poly concrete canoe team benefits from that long-running legacy,” said Buchanan. “You have a strong base of past captains to help you with every part of the project.”
This year’s event commemorated the 30th anniversary of the National Concrete Canoe Competition, founded by the late R. John Craig, a professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology whose passion for both teaching and canoeing led him to organize the first national concrete canoe event in 1988.
San Diego State University will host the 2018 national competition.
Cal Poly College of Engineering announced its 2017 Outstanding Students at the Engineering Project Expo on June 2. The students included the top senior for academic excellence; three graduating seniors honored for service to the college, university and community; and the outstanding volunteer of the year.
Environmental engineering senior Kimberly Pugel from Grass Valley, Calif., was recognized as the college’s top graduating senior for academic excellence. With a 3.91 grade point average, Pugel made the Dean’s List every quarter except winter 2017, when she had fewer units, and she made President’s List, which recognizes undergraduates who have been on the Dean's List at least three quarters of the academic year, three times since she entered Cal Poly in 2013. While a student, Pugel interned at Arcadis coordinating remediation field activities, and served as a project lead for the Global Waste Research Institute winning third place at 2015 Algae Biomass Summit in Washington, D.C., for her research. Active with Engineers Without Borders – Cal Poly, Pugel was chapter vice president and technical project leader for the Thailand team. As chapter vice president for the Real Food Collaborative, Pugel helped bring local organic food to campus. She worked as a primary research assistant on projects sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.
She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in March. Pugel is seeking a master’s degree in civil systems engineering and a certificate in engineering for developing countries at the University of Colorado, Boulder
Melisa Esquivias, an industrial engineering major from San Bruno, Calif., was named Outstanding Senior for Contributions to the college. She was on President’s List from 2013 to 2014 and earned Dean’s List honors for eight quarters. Esquivias served as an officer for the Radio Frequency Identification Club working to increase club membership and awareness. As vice president of operations, she managed multiple club projects. In organizing an RFID/Internet of Things Conference, Esquivias provided learning opportunities for students and the local community. She also serves as an Engineering Ambassador, and for two years, volunteered as leader of the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Open House Marketing Team. As a member of the Latina Interest Sorority, Esquivias conducted research and fundraising projects to provide services to the Latinx community. As student coordinator for the Peer Resources in Student Mentoring, she designed and led mentoring programs to facilitate transition of queer students into the Cal Poly campus.
The Outstanding Student for Contributions to the University is Charly Flores, an electrical engineering senior from San Pedro, Calif. Known for his leadership in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Flores is passionate about opening paths to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for underrepresented students. As the society’s vice president of community affairs, Flores planned more than 20 outreach activities, including installing solar panels for low-income families and volunteering at local schools. He currently serves as SHPE president. A parent whose son received a tour of the college from Flores said, “Charly speaking to my son about his experiences as a transfer student truly inspired my son.” Flores has interned as a product support engineer at Rantec Power Systems and at Pacific Gas and Electric. He received a Multicultural Engineering Program Chevron Scholarship because of his leadership and outstanding academic performance.
Materials engineering senior Erika Hansen from San Luis Obispo, Calif., was named the Outstanding Student for Service to the Community for her commitment to help others and make the world a better place. She worked with EPIC, Cal Poly’s engineering summer camp, and was involved with outreach activities for the Materials Engineering Department. As outreach officer for the Alpha Sigma Mu Materials Honor Society, Hansen has organized outreach efforts, such as the MATE lab for the campus chapter of the Society of Women Engineers Building an Engineer Day, and visits to an after-school program at Fairgrove Elementary in Grover Beach, Calif. Hansen served in several leadership positions with Engineers Without Borders – Cal Poly, including project lead for a water distribution system for the Nicaragua team. Hansen also volunteers locally, and has served as a WOW orientation leader. An internship with the TenCate Advanced Composites company helped her expand her knowledge and skills with the manufacturing and testing of composites.
The 2017 Outstanding Student Volunteer of the Year is Dina Alarian, an electrical engineering senior from Folsom, Calif. As president of the Engineering Ambassadors, Alarian has made numerous improvements that benefit the college and this hardworking group of volunteers, who serve at college events. In addition to organizing and leading Ambassador and group officer meetings, she revamped the bylaws, and reworked and edited tour routes and training materials to better reflect the college on tours. She has revamped how to track Ambassadors' duties and reworked its budget to include more social events, and she began a fundraising campaign with industry contacts to provide new opportunities for group. Alarian serves on the search committee for a new College of Engineering dean.
The top undergraduate and graduate students for academic excellence by department included the following:
Outstanding Bachelor's Degree Graduates
Charles Aaron Ward Aerospace Engineering
Derek Denardo Aerospace Engineering
Samantha L Smith Biomedical Engineering
Corina Mary Espelien Biomedical Engineering
Steven Ellis Ambers Civil Engineering
Chase Redd Hemming Civil Engineering
Justina Tran Civil Engineering
Matthew T Lindly Computer Engineering
Matthew A Coats Computer Engineering
Cody Daniel Rhoads Computer Science
Andrew Trong Khuong Tran Computer Science
William Cary Tran Electrical Engineering
Dylan James Kirkby Electrical Engineering
Kimberly Ellen Pugel Environmental Engineering
Lauren Ingrid Miller Environmental Engineering
Kendyl Jaclyn Cohn General Engineering
Anna Colleen Laird General Engineering
Jesse Elliot Yap Industrial Engineering
Fiona Catherine Blackburn Industrial Engineering
Jared Marshall Olson Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies
Eric Colin Hill Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies
John Francis Brown Manufacturing Engineering
Joseph A Hanacek Manufacturing Engineering
Kenneth Blain Ainslie Materials Engineering
Cory Jacob Hughes Materials Engineering
Alexander Rodney Nichols Mechanical Engineering
Christopher Michael Gonzales Mechanical Engineering
Myra Cherise Lukens Software Engineering
Brittany Ashley Berlanga Software Engineering
Outstanding Master's Degree Graduates
Reed Danis Aerospace Engineering
Matthew Richardson Aerospace Engineering
Steven Maclean Aerospace Engineering
Daniel Fugett Aerospace Engineering
Tiffany Shen Biomedical Engineering
John Gerrity Biomedical Engineering
Jennavive Lillie Biomedical Engineering
Kristina Bishard Biomedical Engineering
Nupur Garg Computer Science
Katherine Davis Computer Science
Ivan Pachev Computer Science
Christopher Hunt Computer Science
Sean Bayley Computer Science
Christian Skylar Durst Computer Science
Brandon Livitski Computer Science
David Ritter Electrical Engineering
Travis Taylor Electrical Engineering
Zhaoci Hu Engineering Management
Spencer Martinez Engineering Management
Alisha Bender Engineering w/Integrated Technology Management
Austin Lynch Engineering w/Integrated Technology Management
Jonathon Chiu Engineering w/Integrated Technology Management
Joakim Larsen Fire Protection Engineering
Colin White Fire Protection Engineering
David Otsu Industrial Engineering
Nandan Thor Industrial Engineering
Joshua Ledgerwood Industrial Engineering
Victor Espinosa III Mechanical Engineering
Ryan Baskett Mechanical Engineering
Nick Bonafede Mechanical Engineering
Samuel Artho-Bentz Mechanical Engineering
Michael Schier Mechanical Engineering
Connor Sullivan Mechanical Engineering
Kevin Carney Mechanical Engineering
Ruben Diaz Mechanical Engineering
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Photo at top, from left to right: Dina Alarian, Charly Flores, Melisa Esquivias and Erika Hansen. Kimberly Pugel not pictured.