June 22, 2018
A team of civil engineering students from the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University will face off against universities from around the world when they compete in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 31st annual National Concrete Canoe Competition.
The event will take place June 23-25 at San Diego State University. The competition evaluates teams on the design and construction of a 20-foot long canoe made from concrete, a technical design report, a formal business presentation and five different races: men’s and women’s endurance races, men’s and women’s sprint races and a co-ed race.
The Mississippi State team qualified for this weekend’s event by winning the Deep South Student Conference at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette in March. It marks the third time in the last four years that a team of Mississippi State engineering students has qualified for the national competition, joining Bagley teams that competed in 2015 and 2017.
“I’m proud of the effort everyone on the team has put in over the course of the year,” said Seamus Freyne, an associate professor of civil engineering and the team’s faculty advisor. “More than 300 schools field teams at the regional level, so to be one of the teams to reach nationals is an outstanding accomplishment and shows the quality of students we have here at Mississippi State. Being at nationals is an excellent experience for our students and I expect our team to be competitive in San Diego.”
Mississippi State will be one of just 25 schools to compete in the national competition and one of only two Southeastern Conference schools, along with Florida. Other notable schools include Michigan, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, last year’s overall champion. This year’s event also will feature international competitors with teams from Université Laval and Polytechnique Montreal representing Canada and Tongji University from China.
The Mississippi State canoe weighs about 200 pounds and is named the Maroon Pearl.
Sponsored by the ASCE, the National Concrete Canoe Competition is known as the America’s Cup of Civil Engineering. The concrete canoe program is designed to test the knowledge, creativity and stamina of participating teams. Over the course of the academic year, teams research, plan and construct a canoe out of concrete. The hands-on experience allows students to apply what they are learning in the classroom while also fostering project management, design and communication skills.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.
By: Philip Allison