Concrete Canoe Team Moves on to National Competition

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

 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 ninth consecutive year at the end of March at the Virginias Conference, hosted by Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va.

Members of this year’s team are all first-time members of FSU’s Concrete Team, which is led by co-captains Daniel Martinez and Brandon Bartlett. FSU regained its overall conference title, placing first in the technical paper and all races and second in presentation and final product.

The conference brings together 14 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.

The students must follow strict rules that dictate the contents of the concrete matrix in building the canoe and, of course, the vessel must float, to be eligible to compete in the races. A structural crack occurred during transport of the FSU canoe, and team members had to use duct tape to ensure the canoe was ready to compete on the water.

Tia Como, P.E., ASCE faculty advisor, said that this year’s canoe theme is “KISS,” which stands for “Keeping It Simple Since 2004.” Fairmont State won the first of its regional titles in 2004.

As part of the build up to the national competition the team will be hosting a benefit dinner on Friday, May 4, at Westchester Village in Fairmont. To purchase tickets or for more information about the dinner, contact Como at (304) 367-4629 or e-mail her at

The 25th Annual ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition will be June 14-16, 2012, at the University of Nevada, Reno. 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 eight 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.

See more competition photos.