Saturday, October 29, 2011

OU Society of Women Engineers receive awards at National Stilettos to Steeltoes Essay Competition

Ceara Parks is a junior civil engineering major from Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

Students active in the OU Society of Women Engineers traveled to Chicago to participate in the annual National conference Oct. 13-15.

Three students placed in the Schlumberger Stilettos to Steeltoes essay competition: Ceara Parks, first place; Lauren Haynie, second place; and Carly Young, third place. The students were awarded $1,000, $500 and $250 each, respectively.

Following is the first place essay entered by Ceara Parks:

From my cubicle, I hope to be securely suspended from the top of the world. Instead of having a small window to peak out of from time to time, I will be observing my team’s designs from a 360 degree panorama. Below me, the floor will cease to exist; instead, the only force saving me from plummeting to the ground is the tension of the cables holding my body in place. No one told me that the road towards becoming a bridge inspector would be easy. However, it’s the sensation of pursuing a non-traditional career that continues to drive my motivation into full throttle.

Raised in the city of Pittsburgh, PA, I have always been surrounded by the most magnificent bridges in the world. The city’s history was built around every bolt imbedded and every beam placed by the hard workers who risked their lives daily. Without the labor of these individuals, transportation around the Ohio River would not be possible. The impact of these vast steel structures has not only influenced the daily commuter’s ride to work, but they have also constructed the path to my future.

In today’s society, structural failure has growingly become ever more frequent. Not only is the public witnessing the collapsing of mines and buildings, but also the collapsing of the most significant bridges in our society. One day, I hope to save commuters from becoming the next victims of an engineering miscalculation. As a bridge inspector, I aspire to find a way to produce a durable and cost efficient material that will flex with the expansive and contractive forces on a bridge. With this material, the possibility of cracking due to loading will dramatically decrease; thus providing a safer environment for commuters every day.

Ever since I can remember, soaring to new heights has been my daily challenge; however, I had no idea that I would be on my way to living on top of the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment