The University of Nevada, Reno Concrete Canoe team will head to Wisconsin this summer to compete in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Concrete Canoe Competition after winning the regional qualifier April 15 in Reno.
The team won the concrete canoe competition at the ASCE Intermountain Southwest Student Symposium, which took place April 13-15 at the University and at the Sparks Marina and included multiple civil engineering contests.
“We are extremely proud of all the work our team has put in to get to this point,” Kelly Keselica, the team’s faculty advisor, said. “There is no substitute for an experience like this and we hope this stays with these students long after they graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno.”
The team’s next challenge is to raise funds to travel to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for the national event, scheduled for June 10-12. Twenty-one teams from around the world will compete. Those interested in supporting the team’s fundraising efforts can email the College of Engineering Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, or call (775) 784-6937.
The April 15 win came on the heels of some dramatic moments at the Sparks Marina, where the team competed in five timed races. During the first heat, the women’s sprint, the team realized that its canoe — named Taurus — had a longitudinal crack. The crack was taped to prevent water from entering the craft, but that meant the team had to take a deduction in its score in the category of final product prototype. (In addition to the timed races, the teams were judged on their project proposals, technical presentations and the final product prototype.)
But Taurus seems built for speed — the team paddled to victory in four of the five races — and the team is determined to showcase its hard work at nationals.
Work to build the canoe began in August 2022, and continued most weekends until the competition, according to team leaders. The canoe, 21 feet long and 27 inches wide and weighing about 200 pounds, is designed to stabilize and track well in a straight line. The group built a wooden mold around which to shape the canoe, and constructed the canoe out of a lightweight concrete mix.