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FSU Concrete Canoe Team Places 12th in the Nation Impact
Fairmont State News

FSU Concrete Canoe Team Places 12th in the Nation

Jun 15, 2016

Fairmont State University’s American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter continues its tradition of national excellence. For the 13th consecutive year, FSU represented the region at the ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition. This year, the team placed 12th in the nation overall, tying its previous best ranking, and broke a record in the women’s sprints with a ninth place finish. The team is encroaching on setting the longest overall consecutive national appearance record ever held by a team at the National Concrete Canoe Competition, which is currently set at 15.

The 29th Annual ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition was June 9-11, 2016, at the University of Texas at Tyler in Tyler, Texas. In addition to the school record breaking women’s sprint performance, the team took eighth place overall for final product and display; 10th place for oral presentation; 14th place for technical paper; and eighth place for men’s sprint. This year, the FSU Chapter also was the runner up for the Ridgeway Award, the top student chapter international award.

Team members were Team Co-Captains Courtney Ridenour of Elkview and Kalee Murphey of Fairmont; Cole Anderson of Clarksburg; Hunter Beall of Weston; Anthoney Urgo of Fairmont; Quentin Knight of Clarksburg; Kathleen Kelly of Easton, Pa.; Ashley Kiser of Clendenin; Jonathan Decker of Fairmont; Brandon Howdershelt of Morgantown; Jimmy Pumphrey of Clarksburg; Jeffrey Hartley of Shinnston; Ben Costello of Fairmont; Sammy Jesmer of Bridgeport; Ian Chrobak of Farmington; and John Barker of Scenery Hill, Pa. Professor Tia Como, P.E., serves as ASCE faculty advisor with assistance from Professor James Vassil, P.E., and Professor Tabitha Lafferre.

“Fairmont State University remains the only college or university in the state to qualify for the national competition,” Como said. “Our students work extremely hard to create a concrete canoe of the proper consistency and dimensions to actually float and race on the water. I am always so very proud of our students’ accomplishments, particularly this year, given some of the obstacles they had to overcome.”

The 2016 FSU team named its concrete canoe “Endeavour,” after the NASA space shuttle. The shuttle successfully completed 25 missions and the FSU Concrete Canoe Team sought to channel this success into the 2016 concrete canoe. The “Endeavour” canoe is 18 feet long, with a maximum width of 28 inches, depth of 14 inches and half an inch thickness. The density concrete is approximately 52 pcf and the overall weight is 180 pounds. The team created a strict budget so that the aging curing chamber and casting table could be rebuilt without causing undue financial stresses. With sustainability also in mind, the team used old plywood from previous years to construct the new casting table. This careful budgeting successfully allowed the team to purchase a computerized numeric controlled form once again this year. To allow more space for paddlers, Endeavour was slightly lengthened and, to improve maneuverability, a moderate rocker was added.

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. Visit and

For more information about the Civil Engineering Technology program at FSU, visit /collegeofscitech/academics/civil-engineering-technology.

College of Science and TechnologyCivil Engineering TechnologyConcrete CanoeASCEAmerican Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter