Notre Dame students named champions of 2023 ASCE Indiana-Kentucky Student Conference Symposium

Group photo of the 2023 Notre Dame ASCE champions on stage.

The Notre Dame student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) received top honors at the 2023 ASCE Indiana-Kentucky Student Conference Symposium.

Hosted this year by Western Kentucky University, the competitions took place the weekend of April 13-15 and featured 12 student chapters from Indiana and Kentucky, along with four visiting schools from Michigan, Illinois and Ohio.

The Notre Dame Student Chapter team consisted of 42 students, including four first-year students, 16 sophomores, 16 juniors and six seniors.

Notre Dame excelled in a wide variety of events during the symposium. The first-place overall finish represents the third consecutive student conference championship, as the student chapter won the final Great Lakes Regional Conference two years ago (the ASCE student conferences were realigned starting in 2022) and the inaugural IN-KY Student Conference Symposium last year.

The victory marks the third time the Notre Dame student chapter has won the student conference championship.  

  • The Steel Bridge Competition consisted of designing and constructing a 20-foot- long steel bridge. The team constructed their bridge, which was composed of steel members no longer than 3.5 feet in length, in under 35 minutes. Led by senior Andrew DeLuca and junior Sydney Herczeg, the team finished in first place in aesthetics and passed the lateral loading test. Overall, this was the highest finish in steel bridge team history. 
  • The Concrete Canoe Competition consisted of a presentation and report detailing the efforts by the mix design and structural teams to build the Notre Dame canoe, “Canoena Matata.” The team designed and constructed a 20-ft concrete canoe, which they transported the seven hours to Bowling Green for the competition. The canoe passed the necessary tests to race the canoe, representing the first time the team was able to row the canoe in four years! Led by senior Jack Sainz, the team finished in second place in the final product display category and in third place in the overall canoe competition. 
  • Junior Joan Deitsch presented and won the Technical Paper (Daniel W. Mead Competition) on the balance of regulations and ethics in engineering.
  • Junior Gustavo Jimenez-Guzman captained the Construction Institute to a first place finish. The Construction Institute Competition tasked students with several real work construction engineering challenges that teams were asked to provide written or diagrammatic responses to.
  • The Concrete Cornhole Competition required teams to make a cornhole board made out of concrete and a stand made out of wood. The Notre Dame concrete cornhole board was also painted and finished with a silhouette of the Main Building, the Basilica and Hesburgh Library. Junior Finn O’Reilly captained the Concrete Cornhole to a third place finish.
  • Junior Jack Munzel captained the Transportation Competition which required students to apply transportation engineering planning, design, and assessment skills to develop their alternative/solution to a real-world transportation problem, to a third-place finish. 
  • The Balsa Wood Bridge Competition challenged students to build a bridge made out of balsa wood with a two hour construction limit. The designs were tested for efficiency (i.e., how much weight it could hold divided by the bridge weight). One of the three Notre Dame teams, captained by junior Grace Astolfi, finished in third place. 
  • The Mystery Design, which was announced just prior to the competition, consisted of operating an excavator to place a softball at the end of the bucket into tubing of various sizes. The team of sophomore Angel Gonzalez and junior Grace Astolfi finished in third place.
  • Senior Sam Cadman captained the Timber Strong Competition, sophomore Clare Seymour captained the Sustainable Solutions Competition, sophomore Emma Quinn captained the Surveying Competition, sophomore Mike DePaola captained the Lawn Dart Competition team, and sophomore Serra Marquez captained additional Balsa Wood Bridge teams, all of which had strong showings during the symposium. 

The team worked hard this year to grow the number of students partaking in the club and conference. The team continues to build on the strong foundation of the success of previous years and is already looking forward to what it can accomplish next year! 

Conference Members


  • Sam Cadman, Timber Strong Captain
  • Matt Cholowa
  • Andrew DeLuca, Steel Bridge Co-Captain
  • Lee Ngochi
  • Jack Sainz, Concrete Canoe Project Manager
  • Lalo Segura, Concrete Canoe Structural Captain


  • Grace Astolfi, Balsa Wood Bridge Co-Captain
  • John Paul Butrus 
  • Joan Deitsch, ASCE Co-President, Concrete Canoe Co-Mix Design Captain, Tech Paper
  • Nico Dinglasa
  • Jen Driscoll
  • Sydney Herczeg, Steel Bridge Co-Captain
  • Gustavo Jimenez, ASCE Co-President, Concrete Canoe QA/QC Captain, Construction Institute Captain
  • Joe Lohman
  • Jack Munzel, ASCE Vice-President, Transportation Captain
  • Maggie O’Connell
  • Finn O’Reilly, ASCE Treasurer, Concrete Canoe Co-Mix Design Captain, Concrete Cornhole Captain
  • Shannon Reilly
  • Justin Reisert
  • Brad Richman
  • Viviana Rivera
  • Jacob Ropp


  • James Canady
  • Armani Carreon
  • Liz Chen, Concrete Canoe Aesthetics Co-Captain
  • Mike DePaola, Lawn Darts Captain
  • Angel Gonzalez
  • Sam Hillenmeyer
  • Noah Hollenback
  • Caroline Long
  • Serra Marquez, ASCE Public Relations Officer, Balsa Wood Bridge Co-Captain,Concrete Canoe Aesthetics Co-Captain
  • Nikki McNamara
  • Joanna Nguyen
  • Nolan Nicholson
  • Elena Que
  • Emma Quinn, Surveying Captain
  • Clare Seymour, ASCE Events Officer, Sustainable Solutions Captain,Concrete Canoe Aesthetics Co-Captain
  • Emma Speyrer


  • Michael Kolimago
  • Braeden Snow
  • Martin Soros 
  • Nicole Vaccaro

ND faculty, staff, graduate students, and alumni who assisted teams

  • Andrew Bartolini, ASCE Advisor
  • Brian Smith, Steel Bridge Advisor
  • Phil Barutha 
  • Brittany Bullard
  • Roberto Cuevas
  • Alan Hamlet
  • Andrew Kennedy
  • Lauren Kimes
  • Tina Mitchell 
  • Jack Mowat
  • Spencer Ness
  • Ashley Thrall
  • Kevin Walsh

The Notre Dame ASCE team is sponsored by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences.

— Submitted by Andrew Bartolini and the ASCE team.