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ASCE Pacific Northwest Symposium Draws Students from 13 Universities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and Canada

PORTLAND, OR — The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2022 Pacific Northwest Symposium was recently held virtually. The University of British Columbia in Canada virtually hosted events for nearly 200 students including the ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition, the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)/ASCE Student Bridge Competition, and the ASCE Sustainable Solutions Competition - Tiny House Challenge.

University of British Columbia placed first in the Concrete Canoe Competition and Portland State University placed first in the Sustainable Solutions Competition, both advancing to compete at the 35th Annual ASCE Society-wide Competitions June 3-5 at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana.

University of Alaska, Fairbanks placed first in the Steel Bridge competition and qualified for the National Student Steel Bridge competition.

The ASCE Concrete Canoe competition requires students to collaborate as teams and use engineering skills to design and construct a seaworthy canoe made entirely of concrete. Each team must compete in multiple categories: Technical Proposal, Technical Presentation, Enhanced Focus Area, Final Product, and several racing events, for a chance to move on to the finals where the winner will compete against 23 other teams from schools around the globe.

The ASCE Sustainable Solutions Competition challenges students to develop a stronger understanding of sustainability and learn to incorporate sustainable solutions into everyday problems that engineers incur. Students are encouraged to be creative in their solutions and use all resources available. This year, students delve into a tiny-home community challenge to address homelessness.

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“Congratulations to all the students who participated in the ASCE Pacific Northwest Student Symposia competitions,” said Dennis D. Truax, President of ASCE. “Students exemplified key attributes to success in the civil engineering field throughout the competitions: civil engineering knowledge, ingenuity, and teamwork. The society is proud to recognize the work these students have put in throughout the school year.”

In its 35th year, the ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition, the student symposium’s flagship event, challenges civil engineering students to apply the engineering principles learned in the classroom to a real-world task, while utilizing project management and team building skills. The Concrete Canoe program consists of both athletic and academic events. The competition is designed to test the knowledge, creativity, and stamina of each team. Over the course of the school year, teams plan, research, and construct a canoe out of concrete. The competition evaluates teams on design and construction, a technical proposal, an enhanced focus area, a formal business presentation, and five different races — men’s and women’s slalom races, men’s and women’s sprint races, and a co-ed sprint race.

The society-wide Concrete Canoe Competition+ is organized by ASCE and hosted annually by a university student chapter, thanks in part to funds provided by the ASCE Foundation.

The following schools participated in the symposium:

  • Carroll College
  • Gonzaga University
  • Montana State University
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Oregon State University
  • Portland State University
  • University of Alaska, Anchorage
  • University of Alaska, Fairbanks
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Portland
  • University of Washington
  • University of Victoria (guest school)

Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocate for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency.

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