Ready, set, concrete! ASCE student contest draws crowd

Hundreds of students travel to Clemson University for 18th Annual 'America's Cup of Civil Engineering'...

RESTON, VA, June 15, 2005 -- Will the T Boat get Marooned? Will CUAL Runnings steal the Limelite? Will the Bandit find the Beared Treasure? These are only a few of the questions racing through the competitors minds as they prepare for the arduous journey ahead. The only thing they know for sure is that it will take rock hard determination -- and plenty of concrete -- to paddle across the finish line victorious.

Hundreds of civil engineering students from across the country will cruise into Clemson, S.C., June 25-27, for the 18th annual ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition, where they will make the impossible a reality: design, build and race canoes made of concrete. The best and brightest from 21 top engineering schools will compete for $9,000 in scholarships by posting the best overall score in categories including aesthetics and structural integrity, a written paper detailing their design and construction process, a business presentation and finally, the races.

"The Competition gives these students the opportunity to experiment with different materials, and to realize the versatility of concrete in meeting challenging design applications," said Degussa Admixtures, Inc., President and CEO Mike Shydlowski. "Every year we challenge them to develop new and innovative designs, and every year they produce boats that rival Olympic racing canoes in speed and maneuverability."

That still leaves one question unanswered: Of all the things that can be built with concrete, why a canoe?

"Basic skills can be taught in the classroom, but ingenuity and creativity must be learned through hands on application," said ASCE President William P. Henry, P.E., F.ASCE. "The bold and innovative thinking these students learn in the Competition will provide the foundation they need to design and build the solutions to our global infrastructure needs."

The event kicks off on Saturday, June 25, with the canoe weigh-in and measuring, aesthetics judging and flotation test portions of the competition. The canoes will be officially weighed and measured, and then the students will "swamp" them in a tank of water to test their floatation ability. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a Corporate Career/Product Fair, where both sponsors and local engineering firms will be on hand to demonstrate their new products and discuss employment opportunities.

Presentations of teams' business plans--including outlines of the design, cost and construction of their canoe--will take place in front of a panel of judges comprised of professional civil engineers on Sunday, June 26.

As the sun rises over Lake Hartwell on Monday June 27, students will gather again on Y Beach for the canoe races, competing in men's and women's sprints and distance races, and four-person, co-ed sprints. Racing will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will conclude at 3:00 p.m. There will also be a faculty challenge race for the advisors, presidents, deans, provosts, etc., from the participating schools. The event will conclude with a banquet, where the winners will be announced and the various competition awards distributed.

Seventy-five% of the teams' score is based on their canoe design, written paper and business presentation. The remaining 25% is based on the races.

The 2005 Competition is organized by ASCE, hosted by Clemson University and sponsored by Degussa Admixtures, Inc., with additional sponsor support from Baker Concrete Construction, CEMEX, Pennoni Associates Inc., SI Concrete Systems, 3M Specialty Materials Division and U.S. Silica Company.

Teams competing in the 2005 Competition include: Clemson University; North
Carolina State University; Tulane University; University of Wisconsin -- Madison;
University of Evansville; The City College of New York; Drexel University;
Oklahoma State University; University of California, Berkeley; University of
Wisconsin -- Platteville; Wentworth Institute of Technology; Michigan Tech
University; Western Kentucky University; Boise State University; California
State Polytechnic University, Pomona; New Mexico State University;
University of Florida; Texas A&M University; United States Military Academy
at West Point; Fairmont State University; and The Catholic University of
America.

Information can also be obtained at http://www.asce.org/inside/nccc2005.

The National Concrete Canoe Competition is organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers and is funded by the generous support of Degussa Admixtures, Inc., with additional sponsorship provided by Baker Concrete Construction, CEMEX, Pennoni Associates, Inc., SI Concrete Systems, 3M Specialty Materials Division and U.S. Silica Company. This year's event is hosted by Clemson University.

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