About Concrete Canoe
A canoe out of concrete may seem like an impossible task, but every year there are a group of students who are willing to step up to the challenge. These students spend months working on this outstanding workmanship and make the impossible possible. Concrete canoe is one of the two main competitions at the ASCE conference. After the rules are released, students get to experience hands-on learning and take part in the canoe design, concrete design/testing, display design, construction, racing and many other components.
Why Join Concrete Canoe
By joining the canoe team, students are able to learn many aspects about concrete that they did not get to experience in their classes. It is a very challenging project which requires the application of a structural analysis and fluid mechanics in assisting with the process of creation of an ideal mix of lightweight and durable concrete. Although it is not a simple task, our great team makes it a very fun environment which helps develop good planning, communication, organization and networking skills.
As soon as the rules and the regulations are released by ASCE committee, the participants will follow these guidelines and officially start the journey (2015-16 CC Rules).
The project then is broken down to phases and everyone on the team chooses their area of most interest.
The project starts off with the selection and further testing of the optimal hull design. It requires a lot of research, creativity and innovative skills to provide most efficient design. This process does not just end based on theory, but is followed by a scale model testing.
Concrete Mix Design & Testing
Creating the best mix design is one of the most challenging part of this project. It requires application of the theoretical and practical knowledge learned in the classrooms and labs. With the assistance of professors and engineers in the field a series of batches will be created and tested, afterwards the winning mix will be used for the canoe. Our team works very close with a broad variety of professionals who are happy to step up to this challenge and assist us with their knowledge and provision of materials.
Mold Construction & Casting
After two initial phases are approved, the mold construction begins. This area requires its participants to be able to provide the best possible craftsmanship in order to have a smooth and outstanding product. This part of the project, although demanding, but usually is one of the funnest, because it brings every team member together and the results of the hard work come to life.
Display Design & Construction
Canoe display is a very important part of the project, but also is the one in which the most creativity comes to life. This is where we as engineers have the chance to apply our art skills in order to intervene our representation with the project in the most creative way.
Not only do we have to make the final product in accordance with rules and regulations, but we have to demonstrate the practicality of it. On the day of the Conference the paddling team will compete against other schools of the Southeastern region of the United States in the Canoe racing challenge. The team of athletes will start practicing their physical strength and paddling skills in the Summer and continue on until the day of the competition.
The final report is one of the most important parts of the project. We have to document every phase and explain our decision making process in the most professional way as we would in the work field. It is extremely technical and meticulous task and we will be judged on it the same way as if we were bidding on the project in real life.
Southeastern Conference – Display & Presentation
The whole year’s work comes down to these three days of the Conference. All of us will remember this time as the most fun and bonding experience with their peers. We get to go and lodge together and stand up for what we have achieved as the whole team. We will present our work and FIU’s face in front of the whole ASCE committee. This is truly our chance to shine in front of the fellow competitor schools as well as the future potential employers.