Concrete Canoe, Sustainable Solutions and Surveying Competition winners advance to compete in Society-wide contest in June at Louisiana Tech University

RESTON, Va. – The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2022 Gulf Coast Student Symposium took place at Auburn University March 31–April 2, 2022, in Auburn, AL. At the event, nearly 300 civil engineering students from 13 universities in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi put their academic and project management knowledge to the test participating in annual society–wide competitions including the ASCE Concrete Canoe and ASCE/UESI (Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute) Surveying Competition, ASCE Sustainable Solutions Competition – Tiny House Challenge, the ASCE Innovation Contest, and the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction)/ASCE Student Bridge Competition. Students also participated in two ASCE–sponsored pilot competitions, the ASCE Construction Institute Student Symposium Competition and the ASCE Timber Strong Design–BuildSM Competition.

The Louisiana Tech University team won the Concrete Canoe Competition and the Sustainable Solutions Competition, and the Mississippi State University team won the UESI Surveying Competition. These winning teams have qualified to compete at the 35th Annual ASCE Society–wide Competitions June 3–5 at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA. The Louisiana State University and A&M College team won the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction)/ASCE Student Bridge Competition, qualifying for the National competition May 27–28 at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, VA.

Auburn University won the ASCE Innovation Contest as well as the ASCE Construction Institute and Timber Strong competitions.

The ASCE Concrete Canoe competition requires students to collaborate as teams and use engineering skills to design and construct a seaworthy canoe made entirely of concrete. Each team must compete in multiple categories: Technical Proposal, Technical Presentation, Enhanced Focus Area, Final Product, and several racing events, for a chance to move on to the finals where the winner will compete against 23 other teams from schools around the globe.

The ASCE Sustainable Solutions Competition challenges students to develop a stronger understanding of sustainability and learn to incorporate sustainable solutions into everyday problems that engineers incur. Students are encouraged to be creative in their solutions and use all resources available. This year, students delve into a tiny–home community challenge to address homelessness.

The ASCE UESI Surveying Competition’s educational and professional goals include a recognition of the importance of basic surveying principles to all civil engineering projects. Students are required to use standard field and office equipment and procedures to solve common problems encountered in industry. A clear understanding of and ability to apply basic surveying principles will assist the graduate civil engineer in communicating and working with the surveying professionals on the job site and during the design process.

“Congratulations to all the winners of the Gulf Coast ASCE Student Symposia competitions,” said Dennis D. Truax, President of ASCE. “These competitions, bring out the best in students, encouraging them to use innovation, teamwork, and civil engineering knowledge to solve a unique challenge. The Society is proud to recognize their work, both through competition and throughout the school year, and wish them luck at the Society–wide Competition in June. However, regardless where they finished in the competitions, we applaud each student and each program that participated in this year’s symposia and recognize the hard work all the students have put in their projects during the school year.”

In its 35th year, the ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition, the student symposium’s flagship event, challenges civil engineering students to apply the engineering principles learned in the classroom to a real–world task, while utilizing project management and team building skills. The Concrete Canoe program consists of both athletic and academic events. The competition is designed to test the knowledge, creativity and stamina of each team. Over the course of the school year, teams plan, research, and construct a canoe out of concrete. The competition evaluates teams on design and construction, a technical proposal, an enhanced focus area, a formal business presentation, and five different races—men’s and women’s slalom races, men’s and women’s sprint races and a co–ed sprint race.

The Society–wide Concrete Canoe Competition+ is organized by ASCE and hosted annually by a university student chapter, thanks in part to funds provided by the ASCE Foundation.

The following schools were represented at the symposium:

  • Auburn University
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Alabama in Huntsville
  • Louisiana State University
  • University of South Alabama
  • Mississippi State University
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • McNeese State University
  • Alabama A&M University
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of New Orleans

About the American Society of Civil Engineers

Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit or and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.