College of Engineering & Mines

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UND ASCE student chapter turns 100

[ Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on the College of Engineering & Mines Blog on February 6, 2023, and was later updated and republished to reflect details about the ASCE 100-Year Celebration held at UND. ]


A centennial milestone later, civil engineering students still find community, success among peers

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapter at the University of North Dakota proudly celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2023.

This milestone, a testament to the longevity and significance of the community, demonstrates the rich history of teamwork and belonging in UND’s Department of Civil Engineering.

“The ASCE UND Chapter has played a significant role in advancing the leadership, teamwork, real-world, and hands-on skills of generations of civil engineers,” says Daba Gedafa, Sitney Lodoen Endowed Professor of Civil Engineering and chair of the Civil Engineering Department.

“Its future impact on graduating life-long learners who make a difference in the quality of life in the ever-changing world will be even more significant.”

Group photo inside a classroom
Celebrating the UND chapter’s 100-year anniversary, students, alumni, and faculty came together to honor the historic milestone. Photo courtesy of Ryan Bergum.

On December 5th, 2023, around 30 UND civil engineering alumni (including several past officers of ASCE), about a dozen current ASCE student members, and several faculty and staff came together to honor the chapter’s milestone. During the festivities, Ryan Kunz (ASCE Steel Bridge Captain) and Ryan Bergum (ASCE Student President) gave a presentation on ASCE’s history at UND and the progress and achievements our chapter has made since it began. In addition to this, the presentation also included some of the chapter’s goals for the future.

“My involvement in ASCE at UND has taught me a lot about the civil engineering profession and I am glad to be a part of it,” said Ryan Bergum, the chapter’s student president. “I have met several friends and have learned many important life skills.”

About the ASCE student chapter

The ASCE student chapter at UND was established in 1923 to provide students with opportunities to learn about the field of civil engineering, network with professionals, and develop their leadership and teamwork skills.

Over the past century, the chapter has continued to thrive, providing students with a supportive community and hands-on experiences outside the classroom.

As a whole organization, the ASCE  represents more than 150,000 members of the civil engineering profession in 177 countries. Founded in 1852, it holds the title of America’s oldest engineering society.

The society is a leading provider of technical and professional conferences and continuing education, the world’s largest publisher of civil engineering content, and an authoritative source for codes and standards that protect the public.

Throughout its 100-year history at UND, the ASCE student chapter has been a leader in nurturing the profession of civil engineering. The student chapter has encouraged students’ professional growth by organizing numerous events, including guest lectures, site visits, and competitions.

ASCE students also work together to develop their skills in engineering by competing in the annual Steel Bridge Competition. They compete in regional competitions every spring, building and designing their own bridge.

The organization has also boosted awareness of civil engineering’s important role in society through volunteering at events like the FIRST LEGO League, teaching younger students about the field. These events have also provided students with opportunities to connect with professionals, learn about the latest advancements, and gain valuable experience in problem-solving and teamwork.

UND’s ASCE chapter has played a critical role in promoting civil engineering as a profession and supporting the development of future engineers for the past 100 years. Looking forward, the student organization aims to continue contributing to civil engineering and its ongoing commitment to fostering the next generation of engineers.


Written by Paige Prekker  //  UND College of Engineering & Mines