Pitt-Johnstown Concrete Canoe Team Places 16th at National Competition

Pitt-Johnstown

posted June 20, 2017


Pitt-Johnstown’s Concrete Canoe team placed 16th in the nation during the 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) National Concrete Canoe Competition (NCCC), held June 17-19, at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO.

The Pitt-Johnstown engineering team earned its highest placement among the 10 categories with a ninth-place finish in the Co-Ed Final Sprints, according to the NCCC.

Pitt-Johnstown also placed 10th in the Men’s Sprints, 11th in the Women’s Slalom/Endurance Race, 11th in Race Points, and 12th in the Men’s Slalom/Endurance Race.

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, won the overall competition, but did not place first in any single category. University of Florida was second and University of Akron placed third.

Pitt-Johnstown has sent seven teams to the NCC in the past 10 years. This was the first time Pitt-Johnstown reached the nationals since the university hosted the event in 2014.

Team Captain Savanna Johns had said the team named the vessel Redemption this year because the team sought redemption after having missed nationals last year due to a punctured hull.

Work on the 350-pound, 19-feet, one-inches long Redemption started at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year in the Concrete Canoe lab, located in the basement of the newly renovated Engineering and Science Building on the Pitt-Johnstown campus.

Pitt-Johnstown advanced to the national event by placing first in the Mid-Atlantic Student Conference, which was held April 7-9 at the University of Maryland. Pitt-Johnstown won three of four judged categories to earn first place.

Brian Houston, associate professor of civil engineering, is in his 13th year as Pitt-Johnstown’s Concrete Canoe team academic advisor. The team had 46 members this year.

The engineering competition annually provides students with a practical application of the principles they learn in the classroom, along with important team and project management skills they will need in their careers, according to the ASCE. 


The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is marking its 90th anniversary well as the 50th year of the campus in its Richland Township location. Pitt-Johnstown was founded in 1927 and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. 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 by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” The distinctive combination of Pitt-Johnstown’s people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader, educating for success in the Real World.