UE Civil Engineering Concrete Canoe Team Competes at Nationals

Posted: Friday, June 26, 2015

The University of Evansville’s civil engineering Concrete Canoe team earned 16th place overall in the 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers National Concrete Canoe Competition. Teams from some of the top engineering schools in the United States and Canada competed at the event, which was held at Clemson University on June 20-22. The UE team represented the smallest school at the competition.

The teams were judged on the design and construction of each canoe and the students’ ability to explain their innovative features in a design report and an oral presentation that included questioning by a panel of civil engineering professionals. In addition, the canoes were put to the test in a series of sprint, endurance, and slalom races.

For the first time in UE history, the paddling team placed in the top ten in the Women’s Endurance and Slalom and in the co-ed race. One of the event’s highlights was an exciting finish by the Aces co-ed team in the petit final race when they were narrowly edged out by the University of California at Berkeley.

UE associate professor of civil engineering and team advisor Mark Valenzuela traveled with the team to the competition at Clemson University He praised the UE team’s efforts, both for their work preparing for the competition and in their performance at the event.

“I’m so very proud of the team and what they’ve accomplished throughout the year,” said Valenzuela. “I was touched that they named their canoe “Julie,” after Julie Elpers Otis who led UE to her first Nationals ten years ago. She lost her battle with breast cancer just recently. These students should be proud of giving it their all to get to Nationals and competing toe-to-toe with some of the best schools in the country. Julie would most certainly be proud.”

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