Concrete Canoe Team Wins Regional Competition and Moves on to Nationals

Friday, April 01, 2011

 Fairmont State University’s American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter continues its tradition of excellence and will again represent the region at the National Concrete Canoe Competition.

FSU’s ASCE Student Chapter won first place in the Concrete Canoe Competition for the eighth consecutive year over the weekend at the Virginia’s Conference, hosted by West Virginia University at Cheat Lake in Morgantown. When FSU’s canoe cracked in half during the morning men’s sprint race, team members were able to tape the canoe back together using only duct-tape. The patched canoe raced three more times after being repaired without taking on water. Although the team took a point penalty for the patch, FSU was still able to secure first place.

“We are really proud of our canoe this year and despite the setbacks that we had, we are excited to be representing FSU at the national venue,” said Team Captain Tabitha Neuhauser.

The conference brings together 13 schools from West Virginia, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and provides students a chance to gain valuable hands-on experience by competing in many engineering-related competitions.

“Teams are judged on four parts, each weighted equally,” explained Neuhauser. “They include the canoe races, a technical paper, canoe aesthetics, and a five minute presentation highlighting the technical paper.”

The students must follow strict rules that dictate the contents of their concrete matrix and, of course, the vessel must float, to be eligible for the races.

Tia Como, P.E., ASCE faculty advisor, said that this year’s canoe theme is “Backbone,” which honors our nation’s everyday heroes including teachers, coalminers, doctors, and firefighters.

“This country’s everyday heroes are our nation’s backbone and it is our honor to create this canoe and race it for them,” Como said.

The 24th Annual ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition will be June 16-18, hosted by University of Evansville in Evansville, Ind. FSU remains the only university in the state to be invited to compete at the national level. FSU has represented the region at the National Concrete Canoe Competition for the past seven years.

 Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 137,500 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide, and is America’s oldest national engineering society. ASCE’s vision is to position engineers as global leaders building a better quality of life.

For more information about Fairmont State’s ASCE Student Chapter, call Tia Como, P.E., Professor, at (304) 367-4629 or e-mail her at

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