Concrete Canoe, Sustainable Solutions and Surveying Competition winners advance to ASCE Civil Engineering Student Championships in June at Brigham Young University

Reston, Va. — Future civil engineers showed off the skills, knowledge, and perseverance that will help shape the future of cities and infrastructure worldwide at The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2024 Gulf Coast Student Symposium at University of New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana, March 7–9. The competition featured nearly 300 civil engineering students from 13 universities in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi who used their academic and project management experience in a series of competitions that demonstrate the teamwork, critical thinking, and technical skills that are crucial to the civil engineering profession, including the Society's flagship student competition, ASCE Concrete Canoe.

ASCE's University of Alabama in Huntsville student chapter won the Concrete Canoe competition and will advance to the Society-wide finals. Concrete Canoe teams spend months leading up to the competition working to design and build a canoe made entirely out of concrete that is capable of floating and racing against dozens of other competitors. The Society-wide finals, which include Concrete Canoe, the ASCE Sustainable Solutions Competition - Waterfront Revitalization, and the ASCE UESI Surveying Competition, will be hosted by Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, June 20–22.

Students from Auburn University won the ASCE Sustainable Solutions Competition, where teams are challenged to incorporate sustainable practices into real-world project scenarios that they will regularly face in their civil engineering careers. This year's competition required students to create a proposal to redevelop several parcels of waterfront land in a fictional city that was once a manufacturing hub using the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure's Envision framework to meet the city's sustainability goals.

The ASCE UESI Surveying Competition winner was the team from the University of Mississippi. This competition recognizes the importance of basic surveying principles to all civil engineering projects and ways to solve common problems they will encounter in the industry. In this competition, competitors completed a topographic mapping project and field tasks that are part of the surveying process.

In the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction)/ASCE Student Steel Bridge Competition, students from Auburn University will advance to the Society-wide finals. This competition requires students to develop and build a scale model steel bridge spanning approximately 20 feet and capable of carrying at least 2,500 pounds. The ASCE/AISC Student Steel Bridge National Finals takes place May 31–June 1 at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana.

"The winners of the ASCE Gulf Coast Student Symposium spent countless hours preparing for these competitions, and their work stood out among their peers,” said Marsia Geldert-Murphey, P.E., President of ASCE. “The skills they developed as a team are crucial as they prepare for their civil engineering careers. We wish them all the best at the Society-wide competitions."

For nearly 40 years, ASCE student chapters have been competing in the Concrete Canoe Competition. In addition to designing and building the canoes, students also formulate the concrete mixture using their own unique techniques to make the canoe float. 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 competition evaluates teams on design and construction, a technical proposal, 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.

Participating schools at the Gulf Coast Student Symposium

  • University of New Orleans (host)
  • Alabama A&M University
  • Auburn University
  • Louisiana State University and A&M College
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • McNeese State University
  • Mississippi State University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of Alabama in Huntsville
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of South Alabama

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.