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National Concrete Canoe Competition

June 08, 2004

Hundreds of civil engineering students from across North America will converge in the nation’s capital June 18-20, 2004, for the 17th annual ASCE/MBT National Concrete Canoe Competition, where they will make the impossible a reality: design, build and race canoes made of concrete. The best and brightest from 22 top engineering schools will compete for $9,000 in scholarships by posting the best overall score in categories including the canoe’s aesthetics and structural integrity, a written paper detailing their design and construction process, a business presentation on the canoe’s design, construction and materials, and finally, the races.

The concrete canoe competition represents one-third of a weekend-long celebration of this versatile material, under the banner of “Celebrating Concrete!” ASCE and MBT are partnering with the National Building Museum to present “Celebrating Concrete!” The festivities kick off at the National Building Museum on Friday, June 18, with the aesthetics judging portion of the competition and a welcome dinner for the students. On Saturday, June 19, the National Building Museum’s opens the new exhibition, Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete, surveying cutting-edge architecture in which the versatility of concrete is an essential aspect of the design. On the same day and in conjunction with exhibition opening, the National Building Museum will present a Concrete Carnival from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. The student presentations, as well as a preliminary floatation test to measure the canoe’s abilities in the water, will be held at the National Building Museum.

Seventy-five percent of the students’ score is based on the canoe design, written paper and business presentation. The remaining 25 percent is based on a series of slalom/endurance and sprint races held on the last day of the competition, Sunday, June 20, at Lake Fairfax in Reston, VA.

“We have seen amazing technical advancements in the concrete canoe designs and construction over the past 17 years,” said Master Builders, Inc. President and CEO Mike Shydlowski. “Every year we challenge the students to develop new ways to utilize concrete, and every year they produce boats that rival Olympic racing canoes in speed and maneuverability.”

“These students will be the ones to solve the global water supply problem, the energy crisis, and even space colonization,” said ASCE President Patricia D. Galloway, P.E., F.ASCE, PMP. “Young engineers can learn everything in the classroom, except how to respond with ingenuity and creativity. Daring to overcome impossible challenges, like building a canoe out of concrete, requires the kind of bold and innovative solutions necessary to keep up wit the world’s infrastructure needs.”

The competition is organized and sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Master Builders and presented in partnership with the National Building Museum. The awards banquet and ceremony will be held at The Catholic University of America, which will also serve as the host school for the participating students. Additional support for the National Concrete Canoe Competition is provided by co-sponsors Baker Concrete Construction, Cemex USA and U.S. Silica Company. The Concrete Carnival, along with the exhibition Liquid Stone, are made possible by Lafarge.

Teams competing in the 2004 ASCE/MBT National Concrete Canoe Competition include: University of Alabama in Huntsville; Montana State University; California State Polytechnic University Pomona; New Mexico State University; California State University Sacramento; North Carolina State University; Clemson University; Oklahoma State University; Drexel University; University of Oklahoma; Fairmount State College; Polytechnic University; Université Laval; Rochester Institute of Technology; University of Massachusetts Amherst; Texas A&M University; Michigan Tech University; Villanova University; Milwaukee School of Engineering; Western Kentucky University; University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For additional information on the National Concrete Canoe Competition, visit the ASCE website at www.asce.org/inside/nccc2004/. Additional details on the exhibition Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete and the Concrete Carnival can be found at www.nbm.org.

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