Concrete Canoe Team Headed to Nationals
May 10, 2007
Cal Poly engineering students from the Society of Civil Engineers recently competed against 16 other universities in the 2007 Pacific Southwest Regional Conference (PSWRC), placing first in the Concrete Canoe event and third in the conference overall. The event was hosted by the University of California, San Diego on April 12 -14.
Led by civil engineering seniors Jason Kump from Nipomo, CA, John Layous from King City, CA, Jason Marshall from San Luis Obispo, CA, and Skye Orvis from Livermore, CA, the Concrete Canoe team will continue onto the Annual ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition at the University of Washington on June 14 - 16.
The annual contest begins with hundreds of civil engineering students from over 200 engineering schools across the country. Only the top 23 teams are selected to compete in the national finals.
“The canoe was based on last year’s entry ‘Katana,’ which placed 2nd in the nation, but a lot of changes were made,” said Marshall. This year the team employed a different molding technique and decorated the vessel with an elaborate tile mosaic, which was inspired by M.C. Escher.
“Our strong suit this year is definitely aesthetic presentation,” said Marshall. However, the team was also judged on the merits of a technical paper, an oral presentation of the design, and five different canoe races. They are not allowed to alter the canoe design before nationals, but will continue to hone their paddling skills.
Despite a penalty which added more than 1,000 lbs. to their project score, the Steel Bridge team managed to place seventh in the PSWRC Steel Bridge event. The team was led by civil engineering seniors Kendra Cookson from Los Osos, CA, Nicholas Britten from Fresno, CA, Ryan Fitzpatrick from Ft. Jones, CA, Austin Moore from Paso Robles, CA, Matt Pearce from Simi Valley, CA, John Puccinelli from Monterey, Ca, and Kirk Torossian from Chatsworth, CA.
“We have learned a lot from this year’s competition and will not make the same mistakes again,” said Moore. The team used stainless steel washers throughout the design, which, although were technically made of steel, weakened the bridge’s pull when it came time for magnetic testing.