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  • Writer's pictureBrook

2015 ISU Hosts Engineering Competition

April 17, 2015

In 2015 I participated in an engineering competition through the American Society of Civil Engineers where we race concrete canoes each college designs.

"For the normal person, the process of building a canoe out of concrete and having it float would be a failed endeavor. But for an engineering student...

“It's kind of like baking a cake. You sit there with all these different things, and you work until you have something that is good for making a canoe out of,” said John Dickey, a student at Seattle University.

The rules came out in September, and making the 100- to 700-pound boat became a six-month-long project. They had to mix their own concrete, create a mold, set it ... and finally get it here.

“We had a shipping crate and we really packed out canoe really tight just to make sure nothing happened on the road because half the battle is getting here,” said Bradley Charles Ho, a student at University of British Columbia.

Friday, for the first time in 15 years, Idaho State University hosted the 2015 Pacific Northwest American Society of Civil Engineers Student Conference. More than 300 students from 18 universities across the Northwest, Alaska, and British Columbia visited East Idaho. The conference features opportunities to network with 30 civil engineering professionals.

“I've met a lot of nice people who are willing to talk and willing to really get to know you,” said Ho.

In addition to the canoe competition, other highlights of the conference include a steel bridge contest. And for those who think a canoe is too big to build out of concrete, they get to show off their skills in a concrete horseshoe competition.

“You learn a lot of stuff in class and you don't really get a chance to go work on some project that's outside the box, outside the norm of what you usually build,” said Dickey.

Students say the end product you see here is the result of a whole year of teamwork, facing challenges, and finding solutions to problems.

“This project will reflect on future endeavors for everyone on the team for every single school that's here today,” said Jessy Hardy, a student at Seattle University.

Friday was the showcase and aquatics test for the canoes. Students will race them Saturday from 8 a.m. for 4 p.m. at Jensen Grove Park in Blackfoot."

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