Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge winners advance to compete in society-wide contests

Reston, Va. — The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2022 Virginias Student Symposium took place at the Virginia Miliary Institute April 7–9, 2022. At the event, approximately 170 civil engineering students from 11 universities in Virginia and West Virginia, as well as one guest high school team, put their academic and project management knowledge to the test participating in annual society-wide competitions including the ASCE Concrete Canoe and the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction)/ASCE Student Bridge Competition.   

Fairmont State University won the ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition qualifying them to compete in the society wide competition June 3–5 at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA. Virginia Tech won the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction)/ASCE Student Bridge Competition and now 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.

“Congratulations to all the winners of the ASCE Virginias Student Symposia competitions,” said Dennis D. Truax, President of ASCE. “These competitions are a great way for students to showcase their civil engineering knowledge, innovative ideas, and ability to work in a team environment. We applaud each of their participation in this year’s symposia and recognize the hard work and dedication 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 participated in the symposium: 

  • Old Dominion University
  • Virginia Tech
  • Bluefield State University
  • Fairmont State University
  • Marshall University
  • West Virginia Tech University
  • West Virginia University
  • Liberty University (guest school)
  • The Miller School of Albermarle (guest high school)
  • James Madison University (guest school)
  • Virginia Military Institute

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.