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Cal Poly ARCE News

To skip to past News/Events & Magazines click here!

Lithuania's Honorary Consul Visits ARCE Department


On February 16th, 2023 the Architectural Engineering Department had a distinguished visitor!  We were visited by The Republic of Lithuania's Honorary Consul Daiva Navarette.

She visited our campus because Cal Poly has a number of Lithuanian students, and February 16th is Independence Day for Lithuania.  But there was an extra reason, she attended Professor Saliklis' History of Structures course, ARCE260 because the topic that day was Myron Goldsmith.  Goldsmith is arguably the most influential Lithuanian-American engineer/architect of the 20th century.  He was central to tall building design in 1960s Chicago, he was central to midcentury modernism as the chief engineer on the Farnsworth House, and of the unbuilt 50x50 house.  Ms. Navarette spoke briefly to the 150 students in the classroom.  Then she was presented with two issues of the ARCE magazine, both of which had stories about Lithuania.  Finally, she was presented with Professor Saliklis' latest book.

To read more about Lithuania's Honorary Consul click here.

ARCE Student Honored by Lawmakers at State Capitol



Nineteen Cal Poly students will be recognized for their awards, hard work and other accomplishments, including ARCE's own Emmett Huggins, by state lawmakers on the floors of the state Assembly and Senate in Sacramento. Huggins is not only being honored for his hard work in the department, but also for his merit and achievement as the vice president of Cal Poly's Logging Team, where students with a love of the outdoors and the field of forestry can compete and grow as they face off with their skills with axes and saws, both gas powered and human powered. Huggins won the title of Bull fo the Woods, or top male competitor, at the 2022 Cal Conclave, an annual collegiate logging competition. Read more about Huggins' accomplishments and the students honored in Sacramento here.

ARCE Students Honored at SWE Evening with Industry


At the Society of Women Engineers’ (SWE) Evening with Industry event, three of our students were honored with scholarship and nominations. Alycia Darby received a scholarship at the event while Tia Kelly and Maria Boyle were both nominated for SWE Outstanding Woman in Engineering. Kelly spoke about how humbling it was to be nominated and how the evening highlighted the accomplishments of her peers and herself and the opportunities to come. The keynote speaker emphasized how “success is defined unique to you, and it's important to revisit and redefine success throughout your life” (Kelly). Boyle echoed Kelly’s sentiments about how honored she was to be nominated and expanded on how the keynote “speech was thought provoking, and I will carry her advice about what it means to define success throughout my life and career” (Boyle). A massive congratulations to these students is in order for their accomplishments and continued hard work. 


ARCE Students and Faculty Head to UC San Diego’s Shake Table


A group of 18 ARCE students with Professor John Lawson and Assistant Professor Michael Deigert spent part of their Thanksgiving break traveling to San Diego to tour a landmark research project at the Englekirk Structural Engineering Center’s outdoor seismic shake table in Mira Mesa, California. A shake table is designed to replicate the ground motions a building may experience during an earthquake. Operated by UC San Diego, this is the largest shake table in the United States and currently has the tallest building in the world ever to be built on one. When shaken in early 2023, the 10-story mass-timber wood building will provide experimental data that hopefully assists engineers to improve building code provisions and facilitate the engineering of resilient tall wood buildings. Students obtained special access to climb and inspect the unique materials and detailing at each story of the building, as well as a special underground tour below the table where all the special hydraulics lie. In addition to the shake table destination, the two professors and a smaller group of students made stops along the trip back to San Luis Obispo at the Cold Springs Arch Bridge (highest arch bridge in California), and the Christ Cathedral (one of the largest space frame glass buildings in the world).

Fall 2022 SEAOC Trip to Seattle

November 29, 2022

Once a quarter, SEAOC plans a trip to offer students exposure to different firms and their offices across the country. For fall quarter, 2022, their adventure took participating students to Seattle, WA, where they visited a total of 5 different offices, learned about mass timber, infield forensics, and more. Their first stop took them to the offices of C Lab sponsor, KPFF, where they learned about the firm’s high rises and CLT mid-rises, as well as a visit to two 25 story student housing towers that neighbored a CLT mid-rise. The next firm on the list was WJE. There, Hayle Jones says they “learned about all the tools and gadgets they use to do infield forensics on concerns such as wood decay and concrete failures”. The next day, Holmes taught them about mass timber, CLT, and life cycle assessments. Four Cal Poly alumni at Holmes also hosted a panel style discussion, taking students' questions and giving them the scoop on what work in industry is like. Their trip to Degenkolb’s office was accompanied by a presentation on the firm’s work building a school on a Native Reserve and the problems they faced designing an aviation center. Finally, the trip concluded its office visits with MKA, where students got to tour the firm’s newly renovated office and talk with engineers there. The office tours may have been concluded, but the trip carried much more fun for the crew of ARCE’s as Jones describes how fun it was to “explore Seattle and take a group trip to visit the Space Needle!”


2022 SEAOC Convention

OCTOBER 25, 2022

At the 2022 SEAOC Convention, four of SEAOC student officers were invited to participate in the event as part of the Convention Committee, enjoying the many presentation tracks, and taking part in networking and experiencing the Convention as a young SEAOC members and students. The event was hosted by SEAOSC in Indian Wells (Palm Springs). The students assisted in checking in all Convention attendees, coordinated events, and made sure the industry professionals in attendance were having a great time.

The students were able to participate in all the events, chatting with the exhibitors such as Simpson-Strong Tie, MiTek, and Risa. Of the many presentation, the students got the opportunity to hear ARCE's John Lawson and Anahid Behrouzi present on their latest work. The SEAOC student officers took part in more social activities such as the President's Cup where they took home 1st place representing SEAOSC. They attended the ARCE Alumni event hosted by the department where they were able to connect with old and new friends. The students are grateful for the opportunities provided by both the ARCE department and SEAOC as an organization.

Current SEAOC student chapter president Sasha Padilla said it best, "It was a fantastic time and it is encouraged that more students register for the event each year, it is such an enriching experience full of great opportunities. Looking forward to the 2023 SEAOC Convention in Maui this upcoming year!"

Building in Tanzania, Summer 2022

OCTOBER 16, 2022

Robert Hardwick, Conor Gilligan, and Dillon Schneider arrived in Same, Tanzania to a site that was composed entirely of undisturbed red dirt. Over the next two weeks, they would begin to transform the site working alongside the Mbesese Initiative for Sustainable Development (MISD) into what will eventually become the Same Polytechnic College. These three ARCE students, alongside faculty member Kevin Dong, excavated earth for a foundation slab using only shovels and picks, assisted a local crew from the nearby city of Arusha to place rebar, poured concrete, and fabricated steel connections with their welder Ezekiel back at the Elephant Hotel, where they had electricity. They attached column base connections to the slab, built two of the five trusses, and put up the partition walls that will be used for tool storage for the School of Construction. The rest of the building was completed by MISD in the four weeks following their departure.







These hardworking students did more than just work construction, however; they built relationships with the local construction crew that was on site, breaking language barriers by learning simple phrases in Kiswahili and communicating nonverbally. Rob Hardwick recalled his new friends saying, “we exchanged names, taught each other our respective handshakes, and raised cheers together for a job well done.” Rob continued by thanking the guides, Kazoka, Joseph, and Peter, who taught them much about the local area and language as well as all of the locals that made the trip memorable. The group “watched the Tanzania Community Cup with a crowd in a small bar, had dinner and exchanged music with the nuns at Mater Dei Africa, shot pool with a Maasai tribesman, and rode bota botas (motorcycle taxis) to site on bumpy dirt roads.” The trip presented an opportunity to grow and to help make a difference in people’s lives through education.








Lithuania Study Abroad Summer 2022

September 29, 2022

This summer, we welcomed the return of the Lithuania Study Abroad program, a program typically offered to ARCE students between their second and third years. Our 18 ARCE students were joined by three Lithuanian students and one Ukrainian student from our partnering school, Vilnius Tech. These fellow students shared their culture, ideas, and knowledge, adding depth to our students' experience. Lead by Cal Poly ARCE Professors Peter Laursen and Brent Nuttall, students completed three classes including ARCE 302 (Structural Analysis), ARCE 352 (Structural Computing Analysis), and ARCE 371 (Structural Systems Laboratory), advancing their degree progress.

While studying abroad, the students took two organized trips across the beautiful country of Lithuania. Students traveled to the coastal cities of Palanga and Klaipeda and relaxed in the surf of the Baltic Sea, witnessed the area’s proud amber artisans, and enjoyed the festivities present in the cities. The second trip brought our ARCE students to the spa town of Druskininkai, where they enticed Professor Laursen into a friendly go-karting competition, enjoyed a cable car ride over the forests and rivers to the city’s indoor ski slope, and ziplined through the forest on an adventure through a local ropes course. “The Lithuania trip was a great experience as it taught me so much more than just what was presented in the classroom. I learned to love a new culture and be able to experience it with a group that carries those moments back to Cal Poly,” says 3rd year Tara Reich on her experience abroad. Returning to Cal Poly, these students will share a strong bond and friendship that will empower their futures as young engineers.

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