Southeast Civil Engineering Students Compete in Design and Construction Competitions

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2022 Southeast Student Symposium took place at Florida A&M University – Florida State University March 24-26, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla. At the event, more than 400 civil engineering students from 16 universities in Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico put their academic and project management knowledge to the test participating in annual society-wide competitions, including the ASCE Concrete Canoe and ASCE/UESI (Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute) Surveying CompetitionASCE Sustainable Solutions Competition – Tiny House Challenges, and the ASCE Innovation Contest. Students also participated in two ASCE-sponsored pilot competitions, the ASCE Construction Institute Student Symposium Competition and the ASCE Timber Strong Design-Build SM Competition. The previous weekend, students participated in the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction)/ASCE Student Bridge Competition at Florida Institute of Technology, qualifying for the National competition May 27-28 at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va.  

The University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez team won the Concrete Canoe Competition and the Sustainable Solutions Competition, and the Georgia Institute of Technology team won the UESI Surveying Competition. These winning teams have qualified to compete at the 35th Annual ASCE Society-wide Competitions June 3-5 at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La. 

The Concrete Canoe competition requires students to collaborate as teams and use engineering skills to design and construct a seaworthy canoe made entirely of concrete. Each team must compete in multiple categories: Technical Proposal, Technical Presentation, Enhanced Focus Area, Final Product, and several racing events, for a chance to move on to the finals where the winner will compete against 23 other teams from schools around the globe.

The Sustainable Solutions Competition challenges students to develop a stronger understanding of sustainability and learn to incorporate sustainable solutions into everyday problems that engineers incur. Students are encouraged to be creative in their solutions and use all resources available. This year, students delve into a tiny-home community challenge to address homelessness.

The UESI Surveying Competition’s educational and professional goals include a recognition of the importance of basic surveying principles to all civil engineering projects. Students are required to use standard field and office equipment and procedures to solve common problems encountered in industry. A clear understanding of and ability to apply basic surveying principles will assist the graduate civil engineer in communicating and working with the surveying professionals on the job site and during the design process.

“Congratulations to all the winners of the ASCE Southeast Student Symposia competitions,” says Dennis D. Truax, president of ASCE.  “All winners are now invited to compete at the society level at Louisiana Tech University this June. The competitions, at both the local and society levels, challenge students academically. Students use innovation, teamwork, and civil engineering knowledge to solve a unique challenge. The Society is proud to recognize the work these students have put in throughout the school year and wish them luck at the Society-wide Competition in June.”

In its 35th year, the ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition, the student symposium’s flagship event, 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 consists of both athletic and academic events. The competition is designed to test the knowledge, creativity and stamina of each team. Over the course of the school year, teams plan, research, and construct a canoe out of concrete. The competition evaluates teams on design and construction, a technical proposal, an enhanced focus area, a formal business presentation, and five different races—men’s and women’s slalom races, men’s and women’s sprint races and a co-ed sprint race.

The Society-wide Concrete Canoe Competition+ is organized by ASCE and hosted annually by a university student chapter, thanks in part to funds provided by the ASCE Foundation. 

The following winners were also named:

Innovation Contest – University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez

Construction Institute Student Symposium Competition – University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez

Timber Strong Design Build Competition –   FAMU-FSU College of Engineering

The following schools were represented at this past weekend’s symposium: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach; Florida A&M University-Florida State University; Florida Atlantic University; Florida Gulf Coast University; Florida Institute of Technology; Florida International University; Georgia Institute of Technology; Georgia Southern University; Kennesaw State University; Mercer University; Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico; Savannah State University; University of Central Florida; University of Florida; University of Georgia; University of Miami; University of North Florida; University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez; and University of South Florida.

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