Universities in Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming to compete in civil engineering design and construction competitions at the U.S. Air Force Academy

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 Rocky Mountain Student Symposium was co-hosted by the United States Air Force Academy & Colorado State University Pueblo April 20–22, 2023, at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. At the event, over 175 civil engineering students from seven universities in Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming 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. The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology 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.

The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology team will also 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. They also 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. The Colorado School of Mines 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. Colorado School of Mines also won the Innovation Contest.

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.

"The Rocky Mountain ASCE Student Symposia competitions demonstrated the ingenuity of the future engineering workforce, and we are proud of their hard work and dedication," said Maria Lehman, P.E., President of ASCE. "As future civil engineers, these students have honed their teamwork and critical thinking skills through these competitions, which will undoubtedly benefit them in their careers. We wish the winners the best of luck for 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 following schools were represented at the ASCE Rocky Mountain Student Symposium:

  • Colorado Mesa University
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Colorado State University
  • South Dakota School of Mines
  • United States Air Force Academy
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • University of Wyoming

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.