A newly formed student chapter of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) was launched at the University of Calgary on February 5, 2003. The launch of this event was well attended by more than fifty students, some faculty members from the Department of Civil Engineering and executive members of the Calgary CSCE Chapter. Sixty students applied for membership of CSCE.
Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura, Faculty Advisor for the new CSCE Student Chapter, recognized the need and potential benefits to having a separate student chapter. Many activities and events for students could be directly administered by this new student chapter in collaboration with and supported by the CSCE Calgary Chapter. The idea was enthusiastically supported by Dr. Tom Brown, Head of the Department of Civil Engineering, and Denis Broadhurst, Chair of the CSCE Calgary Chapter.
Professor Robert Loov, FCSCE, National CSCE President 2000/2001 was the guest speaker for the Student Chapter event. He spoke to the new student membership about the many benefits of being a CSCE member now and throughout their future professional careers. He also discussed the importance of the newly formed Student Chapter, and the opportunity it will provide for students to gain valuable experience that will enhance their professional capabilities.
On behalf of the CSCE Calgary Chapter, Vice-Chair, Dr. Jim Gilliland welcomed the new CSCE Calgary Student Chapter and encouraged students to continue to participate in the many activities organized by CSCE Calgary Chapter throughout the year. As the incoming chair of the CSCE Calgary Chapter, Dr. J. Gilliland emphasized his enthusiasm to work with the new Student Chapter and encouraged them to view the CSCE Calgary Chapter as a resource to promote and facilitate the activities of the student chapter.
The CSCE student chapter plaque was unveiled by Professor Loov and presented to Frankie Frekleton, the first Chair of the CSCE Calgary Student Chapter. Frankie Frekleton is a third year Civil Engineering undergraduate student at the University of Calgary. He discussed the goals of the new chapter for the upcoming year, emphasizing his commitment to harness the enthusiasm of the students to develop a successful CSCE Calgary Student Chapter. He also discussed his desire to collaborate with the established Civil Engineering Student Society at University of Calgary to formulate a plan wherein meetings, lectures, socials, and events could be jointly organized for the benefit of both organizations.
The new CSCE Calgary Student Chapter executive includes of both undergraduate and graduate students, which is an unique arrangement that does not exist in many student organizations. The new chapter has already planned two events for March 2003. The first event is a dinner meeting with a guest speaker who will deliver a technical subject matter. The second event is the a brand new Graduate Student Research Poster Competition, that is sponsored by the Department of Civil Engineering. Graduate students within the Department of Civil Engineering will present their research ideas and be evaluated by a panel of judges. The top three posters will be awarded cash prizes.
CSCE Calgary Student Chapter will be initially funded by CSCE Calgary Chapter, Schulich School of Engineering Dean's Fund, and the Department of Civil Engineering. Dr. Ruwanpura set the goal for this new chapter to produce good quality services through mutual support within the student chapter. Students will be supported by the University of Calgary and the CSCE Calgary Chapter through many opportunities such a technical guidance, social events and job fairs. Dr. Ruwanpura's vision for these students include the winning the CSCE President's award for best student chapter by delivering good quality services - not just for one year, but for many years to come.