Student engineering organization recognized as one of the nation's best

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Lipscomb University’s American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter has been recognized as one of the best in the nation by the organization.

Lipscomb’s ASCE student chapter, housed in the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering, was recently selected to receive a Certificate of Commendation for its outstanding activities as recorded in the 2016 chapter annual report. This is a distinction earned by only the top 5 percent of all ASCE student organizations in the nation.

“This chapter’s accomplishments reflect the enthusiasm and hard work of the student officers and members, as well as the guidance from its fine faculty advisor,” said Leslie Payne, director of student and younger member programs at ASCE. “The practitioner advisors and every individual who had a part in this endeavor should be justifiably proud of his or her contribution to that development of the future of civil engineering.”

Lipscomb’s ASCE student chapter was chartered in 2011 with only a handful of student members and has grown to over 40 members. ASCE was founded in 1852 and is the nation’s oldest engineering society. Its mission is to advance civil engineering, and protect the public health, safety, and welfare. ASCE promotes the advancement of technology, professionalism, encourages lifelong learning, advocates infrastructure and environmental stewardship, and strives to develop civil engineering leaders.  

Professor Chris Gwaltney, chair of the civil engineering department in Lipscomb’s Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering and chapter advisor, said the recognition reflects the leadership of the students involved in the organization.

“A strong ASCE student chapter is the backbone of a quality civil engineering program,” said Gwaltney. “It not only provides a technical arena for students to apply their coursework, but also gives them the opportunity to develop leadership skills, as well as a network for social and professional activities. Our concrete canoe team, under the leadership of professor Mark McDonald has proved to be a catalyst for the strong growth in our chapter. With strong student leadership and the support of the Nashville branch and Tennessee section of ASCE, the Lipscomb student chapter has accomplished far more than I could ever have imagined in such a short time.” 

Founded in 2000, Lipscomb University’s Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering was recently named one of the best Christian-based engineering programs in Tennessee as well as No. 6 in the nation in a survey by Christian Universities Online. The college provides students the opportunity to prepare for an engineering career in an educational environment that also encourages Christian character and service. The college offers ABET-accredited undergraduate degrees in civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering.

As an outgrowth of over 40 volunteer mission projects in Central America since 2004, the Peugeot Center for Engineering Service was created by the college in 2014. Through the Peugeot Center, Lipscomb’s engineering program is challenging its students and alumni to use their engineering education to help others for the betterment of society. Nearly 300 spots have been made available for students to carry out ministry support, disaster relief and community development in Honduras, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Engineering faculty, alumni and students recently completed a 104-foot-long pedestrian bridge in San Esteban, Honduras, to connect two schools separated by a very busy highway that elementary and middle school students must cross daily.

For more information about Lipscomb University’s Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering, visit

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