National Concrete Canoe Competition

Every year the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) sponsors the National Concrete Canoe Competition.  To a bunch of concrete nerds like us this sounds like fun.

The races were started by engineering students in the 1960’s.  They did it to learn practical information about working with concrete and how to use it in an unconventional manner.  This typically was done by individual engineering schools as an intramural event.  In the 1970’s University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of California, Berkeley started having regional events.  By 1988 the ASCE organized the race into a national competition and over the last 25 years it has turned into a great success.

The scoring of the competition works like this:  25% of each team’s score is based on the engineering design and construction principles used to create the canoe.  25% of each team’s score is based on the detailed report they write on the planning, development, testing, and construction of the canoe.  25% of each team’s score is based on a formal business presentation highlighting the canoe’s design, racing  ability, construction and other innovative features.  The last 25% of course goes to the winner of the races.  There are five different races, men’s and women’s slalom/endurance races, and men’s and women’s and co-ed sprint races.

In 2013 Ecole de Technologie Superieure an engineering school from MontrealQuebecCanada won the US title.  The completion was held at 1970’s University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  I don’t know how the Canadians won the US title but it is now history.

Next year the 2014 National Concrete Canoe Competition will be held at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in June.  We hope you’ll come out to see it with the rest of us Concrete Nerds.

Lance Jensen

Global Garage, CEO

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