Fairmont State’s American Society of Civil Engineers student chapter swept the concrete canoe competition at the ASCE Virginias Regionals Symposium hosted by Marshall University on April 14.
In addition to taking home the overall team title, Fairmont also earned first-place in each of five races as well as the following categories: technical proposal, project presentation and final product.
“This has been an exceptional weekend for the student chapter,” said Tabitha Lafferre, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Technology and ASCE Student Chapter Faculty Advisor. “The students truly put their heart, blood, sweat and tears in to this year-long project.”
The ASCE Virginias Regionals Symposium provides students from schools across West Virginia and Virginia a chance to gain valuable hands-on experience by competing in many engineering-related competitions. For the concrete canoe competition in particular, students must follow strict rules that dictate the contents of the concrete matrix in building the canoe and, of course, the vessel must float, to be eligible to compete in the races. The canoe entered in this year’s competition, named “Black Diamond,” is a tribute to coal miners and West Virginia’s status as a top coal producer in the country.
According to Lafferre, this marks the 18th regional level win for Fairmont State. The team will now move on to the national concrete canoe competition at the ASCE Civil Engineering Student Championship hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Platteville from June 10 to 12.
“The team always has a goal of placing in the top 10 overall,” said Lafferre. “Even though the regional symposium is over, they’ll continue practicing paddling until the last day of the spring semester.”
To help fund the trip, the Fairmont State ASCE student chapter held an elimination dinner at the Knights of Columbus on May 5th. The dinner included a buffet-style meal, historical presentation, keynote address, canoe display, gift basket raffles and a $1,000 cash prize.