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International ASCE competition to be held in Ruston

Concrete Canoe
Louisiana Tech University
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This weekend, Louisiana Tech University will host more than 400 students and guests as about 40 student teams from around the world participate in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Concrete Canoe Competition+, which includes Concrete Canoe, Sustainable Solutions, and Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute Surveying competitions.

The event, which runs Friday through Sunday, will begin on Louisiana Tech’s campus, as concrete canoe teams make oral presentations and surveying and sustainability teams complete tasks in the Integrated Engineering and Science Building and University Hall. On the final day, teams will race concrete canoes and present a Surveying Expo at Lincoln Parish Park before returning to campus for an awards banquet.

Civil Engineering doctoral student Katya Opel, who spent her undergraduate years studying construction methodologies and building concrete canoes for the Louisiana Tech student chapter of the ASCE, played a leading role in organizing the upcoming event. The former Tech ASCE president helped coordinate the team’s participation in regional and society-wide competitions as an undergraduate and pitched the idea and helped develop the bid for Louisiana Tech to host the 2022 society-wide competition shortly after the University hosted the 2019 Deep South Regional Conference.

Opel, the team, and advisor Dr. Elizabeth Matthews, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Technology, prepared competition agendas, coordinated food and housing, and planned entertainment for attendees to enjoy on campus, in Ruston, and at the Lincoln Parish Park.

“Preparing for this competition has been a long time coming, from starting the bid in 2019 to having the actual event this week,” Opel said. “It has been an amazing learning experience and Dr. Matthews and I definitely could not have done it without the help of the Planning Committee, Dr. John Matthews [Director of Louisiana Tech’s Trenchless Technology Center and Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering Technology, and Engineering and Technology Management], and Dr. Heath Tims [Associate Dean of Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering]. We are so excited for the first in-person society-wide event since 2019 and to show off everything that Louisiana Tech and Ruston have to offer.”

“We are really excited to be hosting this event, and through Katya’s leadership and the effort and support of many people, I know it’s going to be an amazing experience,” Matthews added. “I am so proud of all our ASCE students and thankful for the support from our sponsors, faculty, and staff who have made this possible.”

In addition to having an automatic place in the society-wide competition due to hosting the event, the Louisiana Tech teams qualified by winning several concrete canoe races and sustainable solutions competitions at the Gulf Coast Regionals last spring.

“I’m proud of the work that Dr. Matthews and the Louisiana Tech ASCE team put into organizing this conference,” Dr. Hisham Hegab, dean of the Louisiana Tech College of Engineering and Science, said. “I’m happy to welcome our guests, and I look forward to the competition.”

The competition is open to the public, and we invite you to us in Ruston, to watch as the top ASCE teams in the world go head-to-head to find out who has the best surveying, sustainability, and concrete canoe design methodologies.

Learn more about the competition and find a full schedule of events on the competition website. Listen to the Beyond 1894 podcast episode focused on Concrete Canoe Competition+.