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Cal Poly ARCE News

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ARCE Professor Ed Saliklis Global Inspiration for Students in Lithuania


After attending Professor Ed Saliklis's spatial structures workshop in Kaunas Lithuania, these Lithuanian architecture students took inspiration from the experimentation done here at Cal Poly. In their studies, the collegiate designers have been synthesizing stable 3d forms and have used what they learned in the workshop as the starting point for these new explorations.

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Structural Forum


The 34th annual Structural Forum took place on February 4th, 2024. Structural Forum Chair, Brayden Martines, along with the members of the Structural Forum Committee worked extremely hard to organize this incredible event. This year’s theme was Beyond Distant Horizons. At the morning portion, guest speaker Mary Kretschmar spoke about her experience working abroad in New Zealand and encouraged everyone to work abroad to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a structural engineer. Clemens Preisinger, Head of the Digital Simulation department at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, gave a speech about 'Karamba3D', which is a parametric, interactive Finite Element program seeking to revolutionize the structural design of buildings. Sol Roderiquez, founder of Casa Congo NGO, spoke about his path to becoming a pioneering bamboo and timber engineer in Nicaragua.

In the evening portion, students mingled and engaged with industry professionals during the resume-free career fair at the Madonna Inn. After the career fair was a delicious three course meal where students and industry professionals were able to celebrate the evening and the future of the profession. During dinner, Kit Miyamoto, CEO and Humanitarian Coordinator of Miyamoto International, gave a speech about the importance of giving communities around the world the tools they need to rebuild after natural disasters. Following the evening portion of Structural Forum, attendees were invited to continue the events of the night in a more informal setting at an after party in downtown San Luis Obispo.







Structural Forum is the most common way current ARCE students find their internships and jobs, because it allows them to get to know professionals based on their interaction, not just their resume. Structural Forum is one of many excellent resources Cal Poly ARCE students have to expand their networks, make connections that will benefit their future, and inspire their drive and passion for the structural engineering profession.

The Great Flood of 2023


Late on the night of November 11th, 2023, a police officer was pulling over for a traffic stop when their vehicle struck a fire hydrant on campus. The impact broke the fixture and lead to a tower of water which was not shut off for multiple hours. The location of the hydrant, at the intersection of pedestrian paths at Dexter Lawn, is adjacent to Building 21 (Engineering West) and the ARCE department. The water exceeded the adjacent drainage capacity and overflowed directly into Engineering West building, flooding the floors of the ARCE department office, all of the Faculty offices on the first floor, and all the first floor ARCE lab spaces with two inches of sitting water.

The damage to the first floor ARCE facilities required a complete closure which lasted the duration of the quarter. A team of professionals dried and repaired the flood damage. The department remained fully operational but was displaced to other locations across campus while the repairs were made. Classes will return to all the affected rooms when classes begin in January 2024.

75th Anniversary Celebrations


The Architectural Engineering department hosted a suite of events culminating in a black tie celebration marking the 75th Anniversary of the program’s founding. Following in the footsteps of the 60th anniversary celebration, this milestone offered a chance to honor the accomplishments made over the past fifteen years.

The day began with events on the Cal Poly campus including a hike through Poly Canyon to visit the Structures Garden, a state of the department address providing an overview of the status and growth of ARCE at Cal Poly, and a networking hour including student project showcases. The day continued with a walking tour of the facilities, an Honors Course on Women in Structural Engineering focus group, and project spotlight presentations from current students and alumni. For those who had not recently visited Cal Poly it was a moment to reconnect with the department and old friends!

In the evening the celebration continued at the Madonna Inn Expo Center, hosted hosted by Ashraf Habibullah and CSI, Inc. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and drinks, followed by a delicious buffet selection. The elegant gala featured reflections from current Department Head Al Estes, Cal Poly President Jeffery Armstrong, former Dean Paul Neel, alumni and former SEAOC Presidents Krista Looza and Ken O’Dell, Interim Dean Kevin Dong, current student SEAOC Chapter President Morgan Cuthbert, and CSI President Ashraf Habibullah. Faculty member Ed Saliklis wrote a song for the 75th anniversary. The evening culminated with a lively fusion of live music, dancing, and karaoke! With 600 alumni, industry, and students of all generations in attendance, it was a vibrant reunion of many generations of Cal Poly ARCEs!

Mustang Family Weekend


As part of the larger collection of events catered to introducing Mustang Families to Cal Poly, the ARCE department hosted its own Mustang Family Weekend Barbecue. While exploring San Luis Obispo and the Cal Poly campus, families were invited to enjoy a central coast style barbecue lunch. Lunch was provided and cooked by Cal Poly's student chapter of SEAOC (Structural Engineers Association of California).

The lunch offered a chance for ARCE families to be introduced to ARCE faculty and staff, and other student supporters. Following lunch was an informatory presentation given by department head Al Estes to give an inside look at the state of the department and to provide an open space to ask and answer questions. Topics included everything from test score statistics to study abroad opportunities, all showing the ways ARCE Cal Poly leads to a successful career!

Week of Welcome


The Week of Welcome is the official beginning of new students experience as Cal Poly Mustangs, with a myriad of activities, events, and programs to engage new students with campus life and resources. During the annual Week of Welcome, new freshman ARCEs were welcomed to the ARCE department. The afternoon included receiving an ARCE t-shirt, a group photo of the freshmen class, and a barbeque lunch provided by the student SEAOC chapter.

Since students are broken into much smaller groups for the duration of the week, the ARCE lunch encourages students to meet other freshmen ARCE students and begin forming connections with the classmates. Department head Al Estes gave an introductory presentation to the class, sharing the future coursework, resources and opportunities offered by the ARCE department.

Studying Abroad in Lithuania


This summer, 16 Cal Poly students studied abroad in Vilnius, Lithuania. ARCE Professors Edmond Saliklis and Peter Laursen lead the trip and taught the courses which included ARCE 302, Structural Analysis, ARCE 352, Structural Computing Analysis, and ARCE 371, Structural Design Lab. Cal Poly students stayed at a hotel in the city of Vilnius, benefiting from being central to the city by fully immersing themselves into the country’s culture. The hotel was in walking distance of the classes, grocery stores, and Old Town Vilnius.

The Cal Poly students studied alongside Lithuanian Students studying Civil Engineering at Vilnius Gediminas Technikas Universitetas (VGTU). During the six week long program, they attended classes from 9 am to 6pm, as they had to complete 7 units in such a short period of time.

Aside from school work, the students also had the opportunity to explore the unique city of Vilnius and country of Lithuania. This study abroad program, offered to ARCE students going into their third year of study at Cal Poly, is the experience of a lifetime for many!

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