Launch Slideshow

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Floating to the Finish

Floating to the Finish

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    First place: University of Nevada, Reno

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    Second place: University of California, Berkeley

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    Third place: École de technologie supérieure

The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), broke the University of Wisconsin, Madison's (UWM) stranglehold and won the National Concrete Canoe Competition in Montreal in June.

The UNR Wolf Pack's 19 ½-foot, 160-pound, white canoe with blue and silver stain defeated other entries from the top engineering schools in the U.S. and Canada. It was UNR's first title; UWM had won the event for five consecutive years.

The University of California, Berkeley, finished second, and the host school, École de technologie supérieure of Montreal, finished third.

Each year, engineering students gather for three days to race their homemade concrete canoes. But the races account for only 25% of the overall score. The remainder is based on a technical design paper, a formal oral presentation, construction, and a question and answer session with judges.

“Over the past three days, these intrepid civil engineering students have shown that technical skills combined with an innate sense of creativity can turn a seemingly impossible task into a reality,” David Mongan, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the event's organizer. “With the innovative thinking we've seen in Montreal, I can't wait to see what's to come from these students in the future as they begin their professional careers.”

The top three finishers earned $5000, $2500, and $1000 in scholarship money. ACI, Baker Concrete Construction, BASF, Bentley Systems, the Construction Institute of ASCE, Holcim (US), ICS Penetron, and U.S. Silica Co. funded the event.

For the complete list of teams, the order of finish, and more information, visit the event's Web site at www.concretecanoe.asce.org.