Concrete Canoe Team Earns Bid to National Competition

May 15, 2018

Concrete Canoe

The Wentworth Institute of Technology Concrete Canoe team was awarded one of six wild card invitations to the 2018 National Concrete Canoe Competition, where it will compete against 24 other teams. Organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers, this year’s race will be held June 23-25 at San Diego State University.

The competition evaluates entrants on design and construction, a technical design report, a formal business presentation, and several contests: men’s and women’s endurance races, men’s and women’s sprint races, and a co-ed sprint race.

This is the first year ASCE has incorporated wild card spots into the competition, to promote inclusivity and the spirit of the race: learning, growing, sharing, and having fun.

Wentworth’s ASCE club has participated in the event numerous times. In 2016 it co-hosted the steel bridge and concrete canoe competitions at Lake Cochituate in Natick, Mass, and finished sixth overall in the race portion.

To qualify for the wild-card draw, teams had to score in the top third of ASCE student chapters on their annual report, complete a statement of interest, and finish in the top 50 percent of the concrete canoe competition at their student conference. Thirty-two teams qualified for the wild card draw and six winners were selected at random by ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith. 

Known as the “America’s Cup of Civil Engineering,” the NCCC requires teams to use engineering skills to design and construct a seaworthy vessel made entirely of concrete.

“The American Society of Civil Engineers is happy to expand this year’s competition by inviting more teams,” said ASCE President Kristina Swallow. “We believe that this will provide a greater opportunity for all teams to learn from each other and advance their knowledge, innovation and creativity.”

In its 31st year, the NCCC challenges civil engineering students to apply the engineering principles learned in the classroom to a real-world task, while utilizing project management and team-building skills. The Concrete Canoe program is designed to test the knowledge, creativity and stamina of each team. Over the course of the school year, teams around the world plan, research, and construct a canoe entirely out of concrete.

The NCCC is organized by ASCE and hosted annually by a university student chapter, thanks in part to funds provided by the ASCE Foundation.

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