A team of students from the University of Missouri-Rolla is about to find out how its concrete canoe handles water.
The UMR Concrete Canoe Team will compete in a regional event against more than a dozen teams from other universities April 27-29 on the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia. Each of the teams must demonstrate that its canoe can float during a “swamp test” prior to the competition.
“Normal concrete used in a construction project weighs about 150 pounds per cubic foot,” says team advisor Dr. John Myers, an associate professor of civil engineering at UMR. “Our concrete mix should weigh less than the unit weight of water, which is 62.4 pounds per cubic foot. To do this, lighter aggregate sources are used.”
The teams are judged on design, aesthetics, durability and performance in races. Judges also review technical papers and oral presentations.
The competition features two- and four-person races, including coed races. For the distance and sprint events, the optimal length for a concrete canoe is between 18 and 23 feet, according to UMR’s project leader, Drew Siebert, a senior in civil engineering.
The rules and regulations of the regional competition are modified and updated from year to year to address issues that have occurred in the past. The teams must follow rules and design specifications.
“This is a great chance to use the information and knowledge students have gained in the classroom and apply it to a real life project,” Myers says. “It’s a fun yet challenging learning experience.”
The following students are members of UMR’s 2006 Concrete Canoe Team:
– Kendrick Callaway, a junior in chemical engineering from Orrick, Mo.
– Diane Franken, a senior in geological engineering from High Ridge, Mo.
– Noah Husman, a junior in mechanical engineering from Viburnum, Mo.
– Haley McFarland, a senior in civil engineering from Park Hills, Mo.
– Ben Martin, a senior in mechanical engineering from Washington, Ill.
– Mike Murphy, a senior in civil engineering from Dixon, Mo.
– Jesse Scott, a junior in environmental engineering from Rolla
– Kevin Simms, a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Kansas City, Mo.
– Drew Siebert, a senior in civil engineering from Fenton, Mo.
– Rachel Swearingin, a sophomore in civil engineering from Lawson, Mo.
– Matt Vitello, a senior in geological engineering from Marshfield, Mo.
– Dave Weidinger, a junior in civil engineering from Vienna, Mo.