Big Race Little Canoe

Weekend trainings and more than 3,000 hours of design and construction led to victory for the University of Nevada, Reno’s 2014 College of Engineering Concrete Canoe Team. The University’s team, Alluvium, took first place in all categories of competition at the Mid-Pacific Regional Conference in April 2014.

Co-project managers Kristin Kramer and Austin Martin oversaw the 16-person team in all aspects of competition, including the canoe aesthetics demonstration, technical presentation, and five canoe races. The co-ed heats were cancelled due to weather, but the team’s overall success at regionals sent them to national competition for the ninth year in a row.

The University’s concrete canoe team started in 2005 with a fifth place at regional competition. Since, the team has placed first at regionals in 2007, 2008, and from 2010 to 2013. The team has also been an annual contender at national competitions since 2006, finishing in first place in 2008 with the Argentum team. 

Another University of Nevada, Reno team placed at the Mid-Pacific Conference with their design paper and oral report on water treatment. Throughout the competition, students also participated in athletic and team-building activities such as volleyball and tug-of-war, and engineering events like bowling, where students designed and created their own bowling balls made out of concrete.

The Mid-Pacific Conference has hosted civil engineering competitions since the 1940s. Fifteen northwestern colleges and universities compete each year in concrete canoe, steel bridge, transportation, water research and treatment, and geo-wall competitions. The conference was hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers and California State University, Fresno in central California. The University of Nevada, Reno competes in the ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition at the University of Pittsburg in Johnstown, Penn., in summer 2014.

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