* Purdue Department of Civil Engineering

April 25, 2007

Civil engineers to converge on Purdue with concrete canoes

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Approximately 500 civil engineering students from 16 colleges and universities throughout the Midwest will sink or swim with concrete canoes on Friday and Saturday (April 27-28) during a competition sponsored by the Purdue University chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The concrete canoe race will take place at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday (April 27) at a pond located near US 52 in West Lafayette, Ind. The Great Lakes ASCE Regional Competition also will include a concrete Frisbee toss, steel bridge construction contest and balsa wood tower assembly. All events are free and open to the public.

Kevin Mueller, ASCE regional press coordinator, says the race is one of the most anticipated events of the weekend.

"Teams from every school build a canoe out of concrete that can hold about three to four people," Mueller said. "After the canoes are judged for aesthetics, they will race them against the other schools and conduct different tests with the canoes. They also will give a presentation about their canoe design. The winning team is determined from all of the components together."

The steel bridge contest, in which teams will construct a 24-foot bridge, will take place from 9-11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday (April 28) in the Purdue Armory. The teams will compete to construct a bridge to specifications in the shortest amount of time. Bridges also will be judged on aesthetics.

Civil engineers, most of whom are Purdue alumni, will serve as judges. Teams will receive awards at a banquet that will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday (April 28) in the Dauch Alumni Center, 403 W. Wood St. In addition to Purdue, participating teams include:

* Bradley University

* Illinois Institute of Technology

* Marquette University

* Milwaukee School of Engineering

* Rose Hulman University

* Tri-State College

* University of Detriot-Mercy

* University of Evansville

* University of Illinois

* University of Illinois-Chicago

* University of Notre Dame

* University of Southern Indiana

* University of Wisconsin

* Valparaiso University

Jessica Davis, ASCE vice president and regional chairperson, says the regional also will provide valuable networking opportunities.

"It is a good time to talk with other civil engineering students from across the region as well as people from industry," she said.

Purdue previously sponsored the regional in 1985.

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704,

Sources: Kevin Mueller (574) 210-3539,

Jessica Davis, (317) 908-2390,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Note to Journalists: For a complete itinerary of the regional and directions to the canoe pond, contact Marydell Forbes, Purdue News Service, at (765) 496-7704,

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