ASCE Chapters Compete On Land and Water
A concrete canoe doesn’t sound like something you would want to find yourself in, however; engineering students have found a way to defy the logical. Students from across the south use their engineering education and skills to construct “cement” canoes that not only float, but also can carry up to four people.
Every year, the USC American Society of Civil Engineers student organization travels to the Carolinas Conference to compete against other schools in a variety of competitions. At this year’s conference the College of Engineering and Computing’s entry placed third overall in a field of nine other competing universities from across the south. The competition is centered on two main events, the Concrete Canoe and the Steel Bridge competition.
The Concrete Canoe competition consists of teams designing a concrete mix using their civil engineering education. These are not cement boats, however; they are a unique mixture of concrete and other substances, such as perlite, which home gardeners frequently use to control moisture levels in potted plants, and recycled ash from coal furnaces. Entries are judged on how much recycled material was used, water resistance and racing.
The Steel Bridge competition consists of engineering students building an alternate route across the water. Students are tasked with designing and fabricating a 1:10 scale model of a life size bridge under certain design and conditional restraints. The bridge is usually composed of many separate elements and must be built within a certain time period at the competition location. This timed competition requires the students to assemble preassembled pieces for a bridge of their own design to meet certain size, stress and load requirements.