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Cal State L.A. team advances to finals of national engineering competition

March 16, 2015

GeoTech Team members from Cal State L.A.

Cal State L.A.’s GeoTech Team will be competing this week in the national GeoChallenge competition in San Antonio, Texas.

The team qualified for the championship, which features 20 colleges and universities, after advancing in a preliminary round. The competition is organized by the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers and will take place on March 18 as part of the International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo.

The competition requires teams of students to design and build miniature reinforced retaining walls inside a plywood form filled with soil. The walls are built with paper and poster board. The objective is to use the least amount of reinforcement needed to support the retained soil.

“Congrats to our team of 17 students for their hard work!” said Professor Reinard Knur, the team’s faculty adviser. “This hands-on experience helps prepare our students for careers in the field of geotechnical engineering, a specialty of civil engineering that involves studying the engineering behavior of earth materials.”

The Cal State L.A. team is led by captain Gerardo Nunez, civil engineering majors Ryan Jacobs, Shannon Hernandez and Reynold Wong. Team alternates Roberto Garcia and Jose Rodriguez will also be representing the University at the competition.

“This makes it four years in a row that we have been invited to nationals,” Nunez said. “And we are all very excited for this year's competition as the playing field has been expanded to 20 schools from around the nation.”

To learn more about the competition, see the GeoWorld website.

Photo: Members of the Cal State L.A. GeoTech Team. (Photo credit: Reinard Knur)

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