About 350 engineering students and faculty members from 15 institutions will descend on the University of Kansas for the 2007 American Society of Civil Engineers Mid-Continent Regional Conference, April 26-28.
Members of KU's ASCE student chapter will play host to students from six states. The conference also will feature 10 contests and technical competitions that will challenge the academic and technical ability of civil engineering students. The Concrete Canoe Contest -- where students design, build and race a canoe constructed with concrete -- is one of the best-known ASCE competitions. Other events include the Steel Bridge Competition, a technical paper competition, the Quiz Meet, as well as the Geotechnical Competition -- which KU students won last year. This year's conference also includes an impromptu contest. Participating teams won't know the nature of the contest until it begins. The teams will have to rely on their combined technical skills and available resources to complete the task in the time allotted.
Many of the contests are open for public viewing. Concrete canoe events begin with judging and aesthetics evaluation from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, April 27, on the lawn of the KU School of Engineering complex, 1530 west 15th Street. Canoe races take place from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, April 28, at Lone Star Lake, southwest of Lawrence.
Students taking part in the contest must follow extensive rules that govern the design of the canoe, as well as the specifications of the concrete mix used to construct the canoe. These guidelines put the knowledge and skills of the students to the test, ensuring the competition is academically significant. In addition, rules are modified every year, so collegiate teams begin each year on equal footing. The team that wins the regional competition will be eligible to take part in the 20th annual National Concrete Canoe Competition June 14 to 16 in Seattle, Wash.
More information about the conference and the various competitions, can be found