UAH concrete canoe team continues its winning tradition

The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s concrete canoe team came in second place at the American Society of Civil Engineers Gulf Coast Student Symposium. (UAH)

The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s engineering students are no strangers to accolades, as the school boasts one of the finest engineering departments in the region. And recently, UAH engineering students added another honor to the trophy shelf.

The student concrete canoe team from the UAH Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering won second place overall in a competition at the recent American Society of Civil Engineers Gulf Coast Student Symposium at Auburn University.

What, exactly, is a concrete canoe team?

Concrete canoe competitions were started by the American Society of Civil Engineers in the 1960s. (ASCE via Facebook)

In the engineering world, the term “concrete canoe” is pretty common. Outside of that world, perhaps it is not.

Basically, the event is similar to a cardboard boat race, in that teams are tasked with making an object float that is ordinarily not supposed to float. However, since concrete and other poured surfaces are an integral part of a civil engineer’s a education, concrete canoes typically feature more development than cardboard boats.

Concrete canoe competition in the United States began in the 1960s, when a small number of student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers began holding intramural Concrete Canoe race, according to the ASCE. Since then, students’ efforts to combine engineering excellence and hydrodynamic design to construct water-worthy canoes have culminated in an advanced form of concrete construction and racing technique known as the “America’s Cup of Civil Engineering.”

The team from UAH designed and built their canoe in its recent competition and also took second overall in the concrete canoe technical presentation category. In addition, the team placed second in races for the women’s slalom, men’s slalom and men’s sprint.

A big round of applause and a high five for the UAH concrete canoe team

The UAH engineering program has been a source of pride for the school for decades. (Michael Seale/Hville Blast)

The UAH concrete canoe team actually has an esteemed tradition of winning.

UAH is one of five schools (the University of California – Berkeley, Cal Poly – SLO, Clemson, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison are the other four) that have won back-to-back national titles. They have finished ten times in the top five and sixteen times in the top ten. The Chargers remain the only team to have swept the National Concrete Canoe Competition (1994).

A member of the largest and most competitive region in the country, UAH has represented the Southeast Conference sixteen times at the national level.

Check out the team’s recruitment video:

The UAH students who competed at the symposium in Auburn this year included:

  • Hudson James
  • Luke Westmoreland
  • Caspian Brenner
  • Ian Galbraith
  • Kelly Campo
  • Callahan Diercks
  • Lane Arnold
  • Nate Brinkman
  • Jonathan Wade
  • Cameron Miller
  • Jared Manteuffel
  • Bryce Ziyenge
  • Kelly Paik
  • Christian Parente
  • Christina Bray
  • Virginia Allen
  • Conner Twyman
  • Sarah Puchner
  • Kylie Hardin
  • Mikaela Wojcik
  • John Buxton

“It was a wonderful experience to join our students at the 2022 ASCE Gulf Coast Student Symposium this spring. It was a memorable and fun event for all of us. Our ASCE team members were very dependable and hardworking competitors. I am proud of how self-motivated they are and of their achievements at the symposium.”

Team advisor Dr. Ashraf Al-Hamdan

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Michael Seale
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