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 Pacific Northwest Student Symposium was cohosted by Montana State University, Carroll College, Montana Tech University, Montana State University Northern April 14–15, 2023 in Bozeman, MT. At the event, over 300 civil engineering students from 19 universities in Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington put their academic and project management knowledge to the test, participating in annual Society-wide competitions including the ASCE Concrete Canoe, the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction)/ASCE Student Steel Bridge Competition, the ASCE/UESI (Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute) Surveying Competition, and the ASCE Sustainable Solutions CompetitionEnvisioning a New Downtown. The University of Washington team won 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.

Montana State 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. The University of Alaska Fairbanks team won the AISC/ASCE 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. Oregon State University placed first 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.

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 are thrilled to recognize the hard work and dedication of the winners of the Pacific Northwest ASCE Student Symposia competitions," said Maria Lehman, P.E., President of ASCE. "Through these competitions, they have developed valuable skills in teamwork and critical thinking that will be valuable for their careers as civil engineers. We wish them every success in the upcoming Society-wide competitions.".

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 Pacific Northwest Student Symposium: 

  • Carroll College
  • Gonzaga University
  • Montana State University
  • Montana State University-Northern
  • Montana Technological University
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Oregon State University
  • Portland State University
  • Saint Martin's University
  • University of Alaska Anchorage
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Portland
  • University of Washington
  • Walla Walla University
  • Washington State University
  • Washington State University-Tri Cities

 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.