7th Southern Technical Conference Held at Bluefield State University

                More than 50 professional engineers along with engineering technology students and faculty from Bluefield State University (BSU) took part in the seventh annual Southern Technical Conference at Bluefield State University. The Conference was hosted by the BSU student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and was sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Highways.

Introductory remarks and welcome were provided by Dr. Kerry Stauffer (BSU Civil Engineering Technology and ASCE Faculty Advisor), Dr. Darrin Martin (Interim President/BSU). Dr. William Bennett (Dean/BSU College of STEM), and Joey Hazelwood (Director of Engineering/STEM @ BSU).

                Ryland Music (District Engineer, WVDOT Division of Highways District 10 delivered the first presentation, “From Roads to Prosperity and Beyond.”  Other presenters included representatives from Brayman Construction, WV Commissioner’s Office of Economic Development, Marshall University College of Engineering & Computer Sciences, Carlson Software, and E.L. Robinson Engineering.  Licensed professional engineers at the conference can receive up to 6.0 Professional Development Hours for attending.

                Dr. Stauffer noted, “Our ASCE students are actively involved with the preparation and implementation of the conference.  Their participation in the Southern Technical Conference benefits them in several ways. They begin networking with engineering professionals.  Several students have landed job opportunities and many go on to work for some of the people they meet and talk to at this conference,” he concluded.

                During the Conference, a ceremony honored the late E. Franklin Hart, whose service spanned six decades at the institution, then named Bluefield State College School of Engineering Technology and Computer Science.  In 2021, Hart received ABET’s (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology’s) post prestigious honor—the Linton E. Grinter Distinguished Service Award. With members of Hart’s family in attendance, Dr. Stauffer announced the conference will be renamed the “E. Franklin Hart Southern Technical Conference.”

(Photo cutline)–Dr. Greg Michaelson (left), BSU alumnus and Associate Dean, College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, Marshall University, and Emmett Cagle, BSU Class of 2024, talk during a break at the Southern Technical Conference at Bluefield State University.

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