The University of Maine will participate in and host this year’s New England Regional Concrete Canoe Competition April 24–25 in Orono and Skowhegan.
More than 200 students from 11 New England universities, including UMaine, will subject their concrete canoe creations to judging on a variety of characteristics at UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center on Friday, April 24 and at Lake George Regional Park in Skowhegan on Saturday, April 25.
The regional competition provides undergraduate students a chance to design and build using skills they learned through their civil engineering curriculum. The contest is a precursor for teams aiming to compete in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ National Concrete Canoe Competition to be held in June at Clemson University in South Carolina.
The first national concrete canoe competition took place in 1988. In Maine, the regional contest began in the early 1970s when a UMaine civil engineering professor challenged his students to create a concrete canoe that could compete in the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race, according to Lindsey Kandiko, event and conference coordinator for the UMaine chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The students succeeded and the idea traveled to other universities in the region, Kandiko says.
This year, about 20 students are actively involved in building UMaine’s canoe. Four students are in charge of planning the regional competition which brings together engineering students from several universities and offers an opportunity to make connections and network.
Students spend the academic year designing and building a concrete canoe that is judged in four categories: design report, oral presentation, aesthetics and practicality, or how well the boat can float and race. Oral presentations and table displays will be completed at UMaine, while the aesthetics and practicality will be tested in Skowhegan.
The public is welcome to watch the races from 10 to 4:30 p.m. at the park in Skowhegan. Lunch will be available to purchase. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Kandiko at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UMaine has hosted the regional competition two other times in the last 20 years and has advanced to nationals twice in the last 10 years.
Concrete canoe is sponsored by the ASCE student chapters at each school. UMaine’s ASCE student chapter formed in 1921 and currently has 55 participating members, including seven officers. Civil engineering professor Eric Landis is the faculty adviser for the student chapter; and Xenia Rofes, laboratory manager in the Civil and Environmental Department, is the concrete canoe team’s adviser.
More about UMaine ASCE is online.