Students take engineering to the extreme in SHPE competition

The 32nd annual National Conference for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) held in Phoenix, Ariz., tested Penn State undergraduates' engineering skills in an intense 24-hour competition. Five Penn State students were part of the winning team and SHPE honored two of the students as among the top five participants.

Competitors in the "Extreme Engineering Challenge," held Nov. 12-16, were told to think green, and design water supply systems that could be used in impoverished areas of Latin America. James R. Crawford, computer engineering, and Everado Tapia Vergera, architectural engineering, were named top participants in the competition.

"Playground H2O," the winning team, shared the $4,000 in prize money amongst its 11 members. In addition to Crawford and Tapia, Penn State students David Weil, civil engineering; Maria Andrea Mendez, industrial engineering; and Albert Besse, chemical engineering; competed alongside six other undergraduates from various universities across the country.

The SHPE was founded in 1974 in Los Angeles by several engineers hoping to form a national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community with a strong focus on networking. The major event for the SHPE, the national conference, is the largest technical and career conference for Hispanics in the country, according the SHPE Web site.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009