Float your boat

Oklahoma State University (OSU) has been selected to host the 2006 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) National Concrete Canoe Competition. More than 400 engineering students from across the nation will travel to Stillwater, Okla., for the 19th annual contest, often referred to as the “America’s Cup of Civil Engineering.” Qualifying teams from more than 20 universities will race their canoes on Stillwater’s Boomer Lake June 15-17. The competition is sponsored by Degussa Admixtures Inc., with additional support from Baker Concrete Construction, CEMEX, Pennoni, Penetron, Bentley Systems Incorporated, U.S. Silica Co., Propex Concrete Systems and 3M Specialty Materials Division. The canoes will be judged in four main categories: aesthetics and adherence to design parameters, a technical paper, a business presentation, and races. No ordinary chunks of sidewalk, successful entries in the contest are maneuverable, lightweight and sturdy. While they are “concrete” in the sense that an aggregate and a cementing agent were used, most crafts are constructed from high-tech aggregates and admixtures, including latex, superplasticizers and fly ash. They must carry as many as four paddlers and, as part of a swamp test, rise to the surface after being completely submerged. Participation in the contest involves thousands of hours working on research, design and construction, and the student teams must detail in reports and presentations all technical and economic aspects of their projects. Many teams spend an entire academic year working on their craft, most without academic credit. For more information about the concrete canoe competition, visit www.acse.org or contact Joan Buhrman, ASCE, at (703) 295-6406.

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