Students from universities across the Northeastern U.S. and Canada compete in civil engineering design and construction competitions

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 Northeast Student Symposium was co-hosted by Wentworth Institute of Technology and Northeastern University April 22–23, 2023, in Boston, MA. At the event, more than 150 civil engineering students from 13 universities spanning across Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Canada put their academic and project management knowledge to the test, participating in annual Society-wide competitions including the ASCE Concrete Canoe, and the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction)/ASCE Student Steel Bridge Competition. Université Laval from Québec City, Canada 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 of concrete that is capable of floating and racing.

University of Connecticut 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.

"The Northeast ASCE Student Symposium competitions have produced exceptional winners, and we are proud to recognize their hard work and dedication," said Maria Lehman, P.E., President of ASCE. "As aspiring civil engineers, these students have developed critical thinking and teamwork skills that will serve them well in their future careers. We wish them all the best as they prepare 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 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 Northeast Student Symposium:

  • École de technologie supérieure
  • Norwich University
  • Northeastern University
  • Tufts University
  • University of Connecticut
  • Université Laval
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of New Haven
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Western New England 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.