photo of Florida concrete canoe Joey Garrison
The University of Florida concrete canoe team was back in the winner's circle for 2024.

The University of Florida concrete canoe team focused on exploration this year – its canoe was called Springseeker, both related to a “Fountain of Youth” theme and the innate searching all engineers do.

Well, their seeking ended in success.

The Gators won the 37th annual finals of the ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition this weekend as part of the 2024 ASCE Civil Engineering Student Championships this weekend at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

"I am so proud of our team," said Abigail Fronk, a co-project manager for the team. "It’s so fulfilling. But it’s also such an honor to be first place. So it’s just an incredible feeling."

It marked Florida’s first concrete canoe championship since 2021, after back-to-back titles by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 2022 and 2023.

The two schools have gone back and forth for nearly a decade now, each winning four championships in the last 10 years (Florida: 2015, 2019, 2021, 2024; SLO: 2017, 2018; 2022; 2023).

"We knew that we put our all into Springseeker. I think the canoe really showcases the efforts of UFCC," said Sydney Sutherland, also a co-project manager for Florida. "The Fountain of Youth is a folk tale that is prominent in Floridian history and culture. So the design of our canoe is a physical manifestation of what we believe the Fountain of Youth is. It represents discovery and exploration, specifically in the field of engineering – how we strive to go forward as engineers."

In addition to concrete canoe, the ASCE Student Championships also featured the finals of the Society-wide Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute Surveying Competition, and the Sustainable Solutions Competition: Waterfront Revitalization.

Georgia Tech won the Sustainable Solutions competition, followed by Virginia Tech in second and Boise State University in third.

Purdue University Northwest took first place in the Surveying Competition, followed by Clemson University in second and Penn State, University Park in third.

Rounding out the top five in the overall standings following Florida were Universite Laval in second place; Cal Poly SLO in third; Virginia Tech in fourth; and Western Kentucky University in fifth.

Laval dominated the races, placing first in all five finals – the women's slalom, men's slalom, women's sprint, co-ed spring (earning the R. John Craig Memorial Award). Laval also earned the award for Best Technical Proposal.

Cal Poly SLO finished first for Best Technical Presentation.

Western Kentucky is building a dynasty of excellence in its own right with four Top-5 finishes in the last five concrete canoe finals competitions. The Hilltoppers won the award for Best Final Product.

The United States Military Academy at West Point team earned the Spirit of the Competition Award. The University of Alabama, Huntsville won the Innovation Award.

The ASCE Civil Engineering Student Championships was made possible with funding from the ASCE Foundation.

Read more about the University of Florida also winning the 2024 Student Steel Bridge Competition championship.