The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) finished first place in each category at the ASCE Mid-Atlantic Region Concrete Canoe competition held at the Penn State University in April. The team will now advance to the ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition (NCCC), June 17-19, which is being hosted by California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
The Pitt-Johnstown team competed against teams from the University of Maryland, Temple, and John Hopkins University. Competitors are evaluated based on: 1) the engineering design and construction principles used in the creation of the canoe, 2) a technical design report that details the design, testing and construction of the canoe, 3) a formal presentation on the canoe’s design and construction, and 4) the performance of the canoe in the race portion of the competition.
Members of the Pitt-Johnstown team include Emily Babik of Saint Marys; Alex Bachman of Bloomsburg; Stephanie Buncich of Davidsville; Derek Callihan of Alum Bank; Adam Charles of Ebensburg; Sarah Cordek of Davidsville; Frank DiLoreto of Windber; Alex Dysinger of Mifflintown; Lauren Dziagwa of Seward; Jesse Fresch of Summerhill; Chris Garaventa of Seward; Jill Hamill of Ruff’s Dale; David Hill of Vandergrift; Joshua Hoffman of Gettysburg; Ben Johns of Columbia, Pa.; Alex Kassick of Johnstown; Jim Kephart of Rochester, Pa.; Matt Kirsch of Carrolltown; Brian Krumenacker of Carrolltown; Rachel Lasko of Windber; Gary Leister of Hyndman; Evan Ligda of Carrolltown; Mike McCutcheon of Pittsburgh; Andy McDonald of Spring Grove; Frank Mele of Windber; Jay Michalka of Canonsburg, Pa.; Nina Rudolph of Pittsburgh; Erik Smith of Armaugh; Emily Yeager of Patton; Mike Zerby of Saint Michael, and Rebekah Zwick of Stoystown.
This is the third time that Pitt-Johnstown has advanced to the national competition. The students commented, “The result is worth all of the sacrifices we make. The win allows us to see that even a small school can succeed by being resourceful and working hard. We know that we can build our own success.”
The NCCC provides students with a practical application of the engineering principles learned in the classroom. The program also helps students to develop important team and project management skills, which they will need for their careers in the real world.
The winners of the ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition are determined by compiling the team's total number of points from the academic and race portions of the competition. Academic scholarships totaling $9,000 are awarded to the winning teams' undergraduate civil engineering program.
Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by U.S.News & World Report as a “Best Baccalaureate College” (2010), by the Princeton Review as a “Best Northeastern College” (2010), and by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School.” Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Pitt-Johnstown…at the forefront of leading baccalaureate colleges…