The University of Nevada, Reno concrete canoe team dominated during the regional Mid-Pacific Conference, held in April at the Sparks Marina, earning their spot to compete at the National Concrete Canoe Competition June 9-11 at the University of Texas. Scoring 96.6 total points out of 100, Nevada placed strongly in first, with second place scoring 81.4 points.
This marks the 11th year in a row that the civil engineering students have earned a national appearance. The team packs up their 125 lb., 19 ft. craft, named Zephyr - after the cove in Tahoe - and departs Sunday, June 5, on their road trip to Tyler, Texas.
"We named the canoe Zephyr to not only celebrate the lake's natural beauty, but bring awareness to the diminishing quality of water at Lake Tahoe," Danielle Palffy, one of two student team project managers, said.
Eighteen regional conferences around the county have determined the engineering schools that will compete in the national competition. The concrete canoe competition is sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers. A list of those competing, as well as some basic stats, can be found at the ASCE website.
"I want to congratulate our wonderful students, the department and the faculty involved for this great accomplishment and for exemplifying sustainable excellence," College of Engineering Dean Manos Maragakis said. "This continued success through many years is simply wonderful and absolutely unique. My gratitude goes out to all involved in organizing this event."
The purpose of the competitive event is to provide civil engineering students hands-on experience working with one of the world's most common building materials - concrete - in a unique and interesting way, all while showcasing to the public how dynamic and innovative the field of engineering can be.
Nevada has placed highly in almost every year they have competed, claiming first in 2008 and 2014. The competition consists of four aspects, including canoe aesthetics, a technical paper, an oral presentation, as well as multiple races, from sprint to endurance.
"The team is truly amazing and impressive," David Sanders, civil and environmental engineering professor, said. "Project Managers Evan Jordan and Danielle Palffy did a great job in leading the team of students. We get great University, alumni and community support. Advisor Kelly Doyle continues to be right in the middle of it all and the go-to person for the team. The University has much to be proud of."
Follow the team on their Twitter and Instagram accounts: @nevadacanoe. The team plans on posting throughout the trip and competition.
2016 Team Members
Project Managers: Evan Jordan and Danielle Palffy
Mix Design Manager: Sandy Cumming
Construction Manager: Ryan Blair
Graphics Manager: Janae Johnston
Paddlers: Evan Jordan, Ryan Blair, Sam Bruketta, Guillermo Munoz, Peter Margaretich, Danielle Palffy, Tanya Flint, Joyce Belen, Irene Serrano and Katie Kramer
Read more about the team and the canoe, and learn about the national event.