University of Buffalo advances to compete in society-wide Concrete Canoe Contest+ in June at Louisiana Tech University

Reston, Va. – The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2022 Upstate New York-Canada Symposium took place at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY April 21-23, 2022. At the event, 180 civil engineering students from 10 universities in New York and Canada put their academic and project management knowledge to the test participating in the annual society-wide ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition and the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction)/ASCE Student Steel Bridge Competition.

Cornell University placed first in the Concrete Canoe Competition, but because they did not meet all of the eligibility requirements to advance, the second place finisher, University of Buffalo will advance to compete at the 35th Annual ASCE Society-wide Competitions June 3–5 at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA. University of Buffalo also now qualifies for the National Student Steel Bridge competition May 27–28 at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, VA after taking first place in that competition last weekend.  

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 students who participated in the ASCE Upstate New York-Canada Student Symposia competitions,” said Dennis D. Truax, President of ASCE. “Students exemplified key attributes to success in the civil engineering field throughout the competitions: civil engineering knowledge, ingenuity, and teamwork. The Society is proud to recognize the work these students have put in throughout the school year and wish the winners 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: 

  • Clarkson University 
  • Cornell University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • SUNY College of Technology at Canton
  • SUNY Polytechnic Institute – Utica
  • United State Military Academy
  • University of Buffalo
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Waterloo

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.