Universities in Virginia and West Virginia to compete in civil engineering design and construction competitions in Huntingon, W.Va.

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 Virginias Student Symposium was hosted by Marshall University April 13 – April 15, 2023 in Huntington, WV. At the event, nearly 150 civil engineering students from 10 universities and one guest high school in Virginia and West Virginia 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 Competition – Envisioning a New Downtown. Fairmont State University won the Concrete Canoe competition, ASCE’s flagship student event, where students compete to construct a canoe made entirely out of concrete that is capable of floating and racing.

The Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University team will be advancing in 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. The Virginia Military Institute 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 the 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 congratulate the winners of the Virginias ASCE Student Symposia competitions for taking their creativity and collaboration to the next level for these events,” said Maria Lehman, P.E., President of ASCE. "Their commitment to excellence has helped them develop crucial skills in teamwork and critical thinking that will be invaluable in their careers as civil engineers. We wish them the best of luck as they compete in the 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 Virginias Student Symposium:

  • Bluefield State College
  • Fairmont State University
  • Liberty University
  • Marshall University
  • Miller High School of Albemarle
  • Old Dominion University
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Military Institute
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • West Virginia University
  • West Virginia University Institute of 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 www.asce.org or www.infrastructurereportcard.org and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.