Concrete Canoe Races and Bridge-Building Contests: Colorado State Hosts Regional Engineering Competition April 1-3

Colorado State University’s College of Engineering is hosting the 2004 American Society of Civil Engineers Rocky Mountain Regional Conference April 1-3, an annual competition that challenges college civil engineering students to design, build and test the best performing steel bridges and concrete canoes. The public is invited to attend the competitions.

During the two-day conference, professional engineers will judge students’ ingenuity at designing, fabricating and constructing concrete canoes and reinforced steel bridges. The competition also will include presentations of technical papers and participation in other design challenges. Colorado State teams will compete with students from 10 other regional colleges including Brigham Young University, Colorado School of Mines, the University of Colorado-Boulder, Metropolitan State College, New Mexico University, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the University of Utah, Utah State University and the University of Wyoming.

Steel bridges will be tested April 2 at 1 p.m. in the First National Bank Exhibition Hall at the Larimer County Fairgrounds in Loveland. Steel bridges must meet the 25-foot length requirement and carry at least 2,500 pounds. Teams also are judged on speed of construction, lightness, aesthetics, stiffness, construction economy, structural efficiency and overall performance of bridge designs.

Colorado State students earned first place honors in last year’s regional steel bridge competition at Utah State University.

Concrete canoe teams will race their boats at Sheldon Lake in City Park in Fort Collins on April 3 beginning at noon. The canoes range in length from eight feet to 24 feet and can weigh as little as 50 pounds or as much as 1,000 pounds. Students from each team will paddle boats in slalom, endurance and sprint races. Final scores are based on structural integrity, oral presentations, design papers and canoe race results.

A Colorado State team placed first at the regional concrete canoe competition at the University of Wyoming in 2002.

Members of the Northern Branch of the Colorado ASCE along with many other professional engineers from area organizations will judge both competitions, and an awards ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. at the Marriot Hotel in Fort Collins. The three top finalists from the steel bridge competition will advance to the National Steel Bridge Competition in Golden, Colo., in May, and the two top finalists from the canoe competition will advance to the National Concrete Canoe Competition in Washington, D.C., in June.

The competition is being sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction, the American Society of Civil Engineers and Master Builders, Inc.

For a full schedule of events or more information, visit Colorado State’s 2004 ASCE Student Conference Web site at or contact Marilee Rowe at (970) 491-5247.