In a Test of Think or Swim, 21st Annual National Concrete Canoe Competition Draws Hundreds of Civil Engineering Students to Montreal
Reston, Va.—Can the Milwaukee School of Engineering "Wedge" their way to the top? Will the Florida Institute of Technology do a "Double Take"? Will the U.S. Air Force Academy "Zoomie" into first place? These questions and many more will be answered as civil engineering students from the United States and Canada travel to Montreal for the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 21st Annual National Concrete Canoe Competition June 19-21.
Throughout the year, teams of civil engineering students logged thousands of hours researching, designing and constructing their concrete canoes in search of the winning combination of creativity, knowledge and teamwork.
After coming out on top in regional competitions throughout the spring, the best and brightest from 22 top engineering schools will match wits and skills in four categories—the aesthetics and structural integrity of their canoe; a technical design paper highlighting their planning, development, testing and construction; an academic presentation covering their canoe’s design, construction, racing ability and other innovative features; and, of course, the performance of the canoe and its paddlers in five different races—men’s and women’s slalom/endurance races and men’s, women’s and co-ed sprint races.
"The National Concrete Canoe Competition tests competitors’ knowledge and ingenuity as they work to overcome the challenge of building a canoe out of concrete that is able to both float and race," said ASCE president David G.
Mongan, P.E., F.ASCE. "This seemingly impossible task allows the students to creatively apply classroom principles in a real world setting, which will help prepare them to address the challenges they will face in their professional careers."
The competition will kick off Thursday, June 19, in the Place du Canada as the teams’ canoes are weighed, measured and judged for aesthetics. The teams will then "swamp" their canoes in a tank of water to test their flotation ability. Students will also have an opportunity to participate in a career fair, where both national and regional sponsors will discuss their products and employment opportunities. On Friday, June 20, the teams will deliver and defend their academic presentations—including outlines of the design, cost and construction of their canoe—in front of a panel of professional civil engineers.
Finally, on Saturday, June 21, as the sun rises over the Olympic Basin on Notre-Dame Island, the students will gather for the canoe races. The races will begin at 8 a.m., run throughout the day, and conclude with the sprint race finals between 2 and 3:30 p.m. (approximately). The event will conclude with a banquet, where the winners will be announced and the competition awards distributed.
The event is being hosted by the École de technologie supérieure and is made possible by the support of the American Concrete Institute; Baker Concrete Construction; BASF – The Chemical Company; Bentley Systems, Incorporated; the Construction Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers; Holcim (US) Inc.; ICS Penetron; Kiewit; and U.S. Silica Company.
The 2008 National Concrete Canoe Competition finalists are: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; Clemson University; Drexel University; École de technologie supérieure; Fairmont State University; Florida Institute of Technology; Louisiana Tech University; Michigan Technological University; Milwaukee School of Engineering; Polytechnic University; Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; United States Air Force Academy; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Florida; University of Houston; University of Maine; University of Nevada, Reno; University of Washington; University of Wisconsin – Madison; University of Wisconsin – Platteville; Youngstown State University.
For more information on the National Concrete Canoe Competition, including downloadable high-resolution photos, please visit: http://content.asce.org/conferences/nccc2008/index.html.
The National Concrete Canoe Competition is organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers and is funded by the generous support of the American Concrete Institute; Baker Concrete Construction; BASF – The Chemical Company; Bentley Systems, Incorporated; the Construction Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers; Holcim (US) Inc.; ICS Penetron; Kiewit; and U.S. Silica Company. This year’s event is hosted by École de technologie supérieure.