Regional competition winners advance to compete in the ASCE Civil Engineering Student Championships in June at University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Reston, Va. – The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2023 Eastern Great Lakes Student Symposium took place at Wayne State University March 30 – April 1, 2023, in Detroit, MI. At the event, civil engineering students from 18 universities in Arkansas and Tennessee put their academic and project management knowledge to the test, participating in annual Society-wide competitions including the ASCE Concrete Canoe, ASCE/UESI (Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute) Surveying Competition, the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction)/ASCE Student Steel Bridge Competition, and the ASCE Sustainable Solutions Competition – Envisioning a New Downtown. Youngstown State University will advance to the Society-wide finals for the Concrete Canoe competition, ASCE’s flagship student event, where students compete to construct a canoe made entirely out concrete that is capable of floating and racing.

Case Western Reserve University will advance to the finals for the ASCE Sustainable Solutions Competition, where students are tasked with using sustainable practices to transform a fictional area into a gathering place for a community. University of Akron will be advancing in the ASCE UESI Surveying Competition, which asks students to use standard field and office equipment and procedures to solve common problems encountered in industry, including a topographic mapping project and determining the depths of a proposed sewer line at different locations. In addition to advancing in the Concrete Canoe Competition, Youngstown State University won the Steel Bridge Competition, which requires students to develop a concept for a scale-model steel bridge spanning 20 feet and carrying at least 2,500 pounds.

These teams have qualified to compete at the Society-wide finals as part of the ASCE Civil Engineering Student Championships June 10-12 at University of Wisconsin-Platteville in Platteville, WI.

“We’re proud of the hard work and dedication of all the winners at the Eastern Great Lakes ASCE Student Symposia competitions,” said Maria Lehman, P.E., President of ASCE. “Teamwork and critical thinking are vital skills to develop as these future civil engineers prepare to enter the workforce, and these competitions will help get them ready for their careers. We wish them success at the Society-wide competitions in June.”

The first ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition was held in 1988, but the history of Concrete Canoe goes back to the 1960s, when a small number of ASCE Student Chapters began holding intramural concrete canoe races. The competition requires students to construct a seaworthy canoe made entirely of concrete. The competition 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, designed to test the knowledge, creativity and stamina of each team. 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 ASCE Civil Engineering Student Championships 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 ASCE Eastern Great Lakes Student Symposium:

  • Michigan Technological University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cedarville University
  • Cleveland State University
  • Lawrence Technological University
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Mount Union
  • Ohio Northern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Ohio University
  • University of Akron
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Detroit Mercy
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Toledo
  • Wayne State University
  • Western Michigan University
  • Youngstown State University

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.