For the sixth time in seven years, members of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers advanced to the National Concrete Canoe Competition (NSCC). This year’s competition was held June 20 through 22 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where the Pitt-Johnstown team placed ninth out of 23.
Pitt-Johnstown’s 16-member team, led by Brian Houston, associate professor of civil engineering technology, competed against teams from schools nationwide, including the University of Florida, Youngstown State University, California State Polytechnic University, and Clemson University. Competitors were 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. Academic scholarships were awarded to the winning teams’ undergraduate civil engineering programs.
This year the Pitt-Johnstown canoe was named “The Phantom,” which was a resurrection of the theme and design from the 2008 canoe, "Ghost Cat," that suffered a fatal break at regionals. The boat was 18’ long, 3/8-inches thick, and weighed approximately 200 pounds.
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. More information can be found at www.asce.org/concretecanoe/.
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 the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization." Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past three years.