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 Metropolitan Student Symposium was hosted by Rowan University April 21–23, 2023, in Glassboro, NJ. At the event, more than 230 civil engineering students from nine universities in New Jersey and New York 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, and the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction)/ASCE Student Steel Bridge Competition. Rowan 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.

The New Jersey Institute of Technology 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. They also won the 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.

"The Metropolitan ASCE Student Symposia competitions brought out the best from the future engineering workforce, and we are proud of 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 Metropolitan Symposium:

  • Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Manhattan College
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • New York University Tandon
  • Rowan University
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Stony Brook University
  • The College of New Jersey
  • The Cooper Union

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.