Concrete Canoe and Sustainable Solutions winners advance to compete in society-wide contest in June at Louisiana Tech University

Reston, Va. — The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2022 Rocky Mountain Student Symposium took place at the Colorado School of Mines April 8–9, 2022. At the event, approximately 225 civil engineering students from 10 universities in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota put their academic and project management knowledge to the test participating in annual society-wide competitions including the ASCE Concrete Canoe, ASCE UESI Surveying Competition, ASCE Sustainable Solutions Competition —Tiny House Challenge, and the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction)/ASCE Student Bridge Competition.   

A guest team, Montana State University won the ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition, however guest teams cannot officially place or advance to the finals as a guest team from another conference region, so the Colorado School of Mines team who placed second will advance to the finals. The Colorado School of Mines also won the ASCE Sustainable Solutions Competition and the ASCE UESI Surveying Competition qualifying them to compete in all three society wide competitions June 3–5 at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA. The Colorado School of Mines team who also won the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction)/ASCE Student Bridge Competition now also qualifies for the National competition May 27–28 at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, VA.  

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 ASCE Rocky Mountain Student Symposia competitions,” said Dennis D. Truax, President of ASCE. “These students rose to the challenge of working with others, solving complex solutions with innovative ideas, and putting their civil engineering knowledge into practice. The Society is proud to recognize the work these students have put in throughout the school year and their participation in these competitions. We wish them luck at the Society-wide Competition in June.”

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 participated in the symposium: 

  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Colorado State – Pueblo
  • Colorado State University – Fort. Collins
  • University of Colorado – Boulder
  • Montana Technological University (guest team)
  • Montana State University (guest team)
  • University of Wyoming
  • Colorado Mesa University
  • United States Air Force Academy
  • South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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.