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Monday, November 12, 2018

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Cougars’ concrete canoe cruises to third


In a Corpus Christi competition that required building a working canoe using only concrete, UH engineering students took home third place against 24 other schools.

The American Society of Civil Engineers sponsored Texas/Mexico Regional Concrete Canoe Competition also brought the UH canoe team, Cougar Construction, second place in a Texas Section ASCE Centennial, to host the University of Texas at a later date.

Team Cougar Construction rowed their way into third place in the Texas/Mexico Regional Concrete Canoe Competitio, which is sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers.  | Courtesy of Scott Wallace

Team Cougar Construction rowed their way into third place in the Texas/Mexico Regional Concrete Canoe Competition, which is sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers. | Courtesy of Scott Wallace

Jerry Rogers, associate professor of civil engineering, said the first Texas ASCE concrete canoe race was on the San Antonio Riverwalk in 1975.

The competition is sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers and is completely student-run, said Reagan Herman, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering.

Herman said ASCE has more than 140,000 members worldwide and it is America’s oldest national engineering society.

“In the competition, the students design, build and then race their concrete canoes. The competition gives an opportunity for the students to see a complete project from concept to final product,” Herman said.

The concrete canoe made by Cougar Construction weighed 240 pounds and took several months to build. While a concrete canoe may sound too heavy to maneuver in water, it was designed to be light in weight.

The regular density for concrete is 150 pounds per cubic foot, Herman said, but the density of the concrete used to construct the canoe was around 60 pcf, making it floatable. Building the canoe was a long task, but Cougar Construction was not alone.

“We received help from 30 undergrad students and came to rely especially on our junior captains William Regner and Jared Williams, who will be taking over the project next year,” said team captain Scott Wallace.

Instead of testing the completed canoe in Buffalo Bayou, the competition’s location, Cougar Construction chose Lake Houston for it’s windy conditions, said co-captain Hayley Redweik.

While University of Texas-Tyler placed first and Texas A&M placed second, Cougar Construction is satisfied with third place.

“The prize is just the pride of being recognized for all our hard work,” Wallace said. “Our team is very happy about how we placed this year, especially since the level of competition at the regional meet has risen significantly in the last few years.”

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