Concrete Canoe Team Departs for Nationals

Posted: Friday, June 8, 2012

This Sunday, 17 UE civil engineering majors will hit the road to Reno, Nevada, where they will compete in the 25th Annual American Society of Civil Engineers National Concrete Canoe Competition. The competition will take place June 14-16 at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The competition provides civil engineering students with a practical, hands-on application of the principles they learn in the classroom, along with leadership and project management skills.

The 22 teams that qualified for this year’s National Concrete Canoe Competition, representing some of the top engineering schools in the United States and Canada, will be judged on the design, construction, innovative features, and racing ability of each concrete canoe. UE’s purple and gray canoe, “Tempest,” measures 20 feet long and weighs 250 pounds.

UE earned a bid to nationals by placing second in the Concrete Canoe competition at the ASCE Great Lakes Student Conference, held April 19-21 at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Out of 14 Concrete Canoe teams, UE finished second behind the University of Wisconsin-Madison, narrowly edging out perennial powerhouse the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to advance to nationals.

Last year, UE hosted the National Concrete Canoe Competition and was the smallest school ever invited to do so. This year marks the third time in the past four years that UE has qualified for nationals.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our students’ continuing success in the Concrete Canoe competition,” said Mark Valenzuela, UE associate professor of civil engineering and the team’s faculty advisor. “This year’s team has logged over a thousand person hours designing and building their canoe, ‘Tempest,’ and it was a thrill to watch them outperform some of the nation’s top engineering schools at regionals. They certainly earned the chance to showcase their work on a national level this summer.”

For more information on the 25th annual ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition, please visit

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