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Concrete Canoe Team Places First, Qualifies for National Competition

Apr 8, 2009

Paddling Toward the Finish LineThe Ohio Northern University concrete-canoe team captured first place in the American Society of Civil Engineers' regional concrete-canoe contest at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Mich., April 2-4. The victory qualifies ONU to compete in the national competition in Tuscaloosa, Ala., June 11-13.

The Polar Bear's top finish marks the first time ONU has won the regional competition since participating in the event and broke a six-year winning streak by Michigan Tech. Other teams entered in the competition included Western Michigan University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, University of Detroit Mercy, Wayne State University and the University of Toledo.

ONU placed first overall by finishing first in the design paper and final product categories and second in the race competition.

Dr. Farhad Reza served as the team's advisor. "This event provides students with a practical application of the engineering principles they learn in the classroom, along with important team and project management skills they will need in their careers," he said. "It challenges a student's knowledge, creativity and stamina while showcasing the versatility and durability of concrete as a building material."

Known as the "The Green Monster," ONU's winning canoe incorporated several aspects of sustainability into the design. The ONU team incorporated environmentally friendly products when possible. For example, the team used 100 percent recyclable grass granulates as aggregates and recycled carpet as fiber reinforcements. Low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) stains and sealers also were used. Cement was replaced by high contents of slag (waste material from the blast furnace production of iron), fly ash (byproduct from burning coal) and silica fume (byproduct from the manufacture of silicon).

The canoe measured 20 feet in length, 31 inches at its widest point and 14-16 inches deep. Its total weight was approximately 200 pounds.

"I am very proud of what of our students have been able to accomplish," Reza said. "This is just another example of how well ONU students can compete against other well-known engineering schools."

Bradford Barber, a senior civil engineering major from Bowling Green, Ohio, and Melinda Moser, a senior civil engineering major from Cincinnati, Ohio, served as team captains. Other members of the team were civil engineering majors Lee Saunders, a sophomore from North Olmsted, Ohio; Brooke Young, a senior from Mechanicsville, Va.; Tyler Bumbalough, a senior from West Liberty, Ohio; Drew Richards, a junior from New Washington, Ohio; Luisa Chinchilla, a junior from North Olmsted, Ohio; Andrew Lucas, a junior from Belmont, Ohio; Paige Sechrist, a freshman from Montoursville, Penn.; Anna Santino, a junior from Gahanna, Ohio; Adam Hamman, a junior from Bloomdale, Ohio; William Melton, a freshman from Lafayette, Ohio; Mary Purvis, a freshman from New Haven, Ind.; and Justin Stone, a freshman from Burton, Ohio.

Concrete Canoe Team