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Civil engineering students to gather to race concrete canoes, build bridges, present papers

Jeff Unger, News Bureau
(217) 333-1085


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Civil engineering students from 11 schools in the Midwest and Montreal will be at the University of Illinois April 27-28 to compete in concrete canoe races, a steel bridge-building contest and judged presentations of papers on any topic in the field.

The contest, part of the annual American Society of Civil Engineers Great Lakes Region Student Conference, is one of 20 regional competitions sponsored by the ASCE. Winners will go on to national competitions May 25-27 at Clemson University (for bridges) and June 14-16 at San Diego State University (canoes).

The canoe races will begin at 10 a.m. April 28 (Saturday) at the Walnut Shelter of Homer Lake in the Salt Fork Forest Preserve. The finals will be from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The ASCE national concrete canoe competition began at the UI in 1970 as a result of a project by Clyde Kessler, now an emeritus professor of civil engineering, who had students build a concrete canoe to compete against one built by students from Purdue University.

The bridge competition will take place April 27 (Friday). Teams will vie to see who can assemble a bridge as quickly as possible. The competition will be in the Kenney Gymnasium Annex, 1402 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana, from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Concurrently, bridges will be tested for strength at the Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory, 205 N. Mathews Ave., Urbana.

Students will present technical papers beginning at 9 a.m. April 27 before a panel of ASCE judges in the Grainger Engineering Library, 1301 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana.

For more information about these free, public events, call Melissa White, 328-0159, or Jeremy Butkovic, 328-3744.