Missouri S&T students build competition-ready canoe out of concrete

The Concrete Canoe Design Team races their canoe at Little Prairie Lake on Saturday April 23, 2016. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Students from Missouri University of Science and Technology have built a 250-pound canoe out of concrete and will prove that it floats during the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2017 Mid-Continent Student Conference.

The Missouri S&T Concrete Canoe Design Team will showcase its canoe and compete against other regional universities at the conference, which will be held April 21-22, at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

For the competition, students must design a “lightweight” concrete canoe that can remain buoyant when completely submerged in water, is strong enough to hold several paddlers and can easily maneuver through the water.

After passing a “swamp test,” designed to test the buoyancy of the canoe, the team will then race it in head-to-head short-distance and endurance events.

Each team is also judged on its engineering reports, a presentation and displays that illustrate the manufacturing process.

This year, Missouri S&T’s canoe was built using a mold that was repurposed mold from a previous year. It is approximately 18 feet long, 2.5 feet wide and 15 inches deep. The canoe is made of a mixture of Portland cement – the same material found in sidewalks – ceramic air-filled bubbles, carbon fiber and repurposed coal ash.

To learn more about the team, visit facebook.com/MissouriSTConcreteCanoe.


  1. Randy Dreiling says:

    Good luck in Fayetteville, S & T Concrete Canoe Team!! Bring home a winner!

    Randy Dreiling, CE ’81 (Concrete Canoe Team of yesteryear)

    • Aspen Williams says:

      Thank you so much! It’s always great to hear words of encouragement from alumni.

      You wouldn’t happen to have any concrete canoe photos from when you were on the team, would you? We’re trying to track down some team history and can’t find anything older than about 1985.

      Aspen Williams, CE/ArchE ’17