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ONU team places second in regional concrete canoe contest

The Ohio Northern University concrete canoe team captured second place in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ regional concrete canoe contest at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., April 1-3. The success qualifies ONU to compete in the national competition in Evansville, Ind., June 16-18.
Other teams entered in the competition included Case Western University, the University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, Lawrence Technological University, Wayne State University, the University of Toledo, Michigan State University, University of Detroit Mercy, and Michigan Technological University, which finished first overall.

Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Mohti, assistant professor of civil engineering, served as the team’s advisor. “This project helps students apply things they learn in class and practice completing an entire project from the design stage to the construction stage,” he said. “In this project, students are expected to carry responsibility and practice leadership throughout all stages. They show knowledge and provide solutions to problems using structural engineering principles that can be applicable to concrete.”
The ONU team incorporated several aspects of sustainability into the design of its 2011 canoe, “Nanook.” The Poraver glass granulates used as the aggregate in this year’s concrete mix are composed of 99.99 percent recycled glass, and the cenospheres are recycled by-products of the burning process at coal-fired power plants. To enhance aesthetics, the team applied a Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified, low-VOC green stain and low-VOC sealer. As a final sustainability push, the bags used during casting day to measure the cementitious material and aggregates were saved to be re-used and recycled by next year’s team.
The canoe measures 20 feet in length, 31 inches at its widest point, and 14-16 inches deep. Its total weight is approximately 250 pounds.
“The students dedicated many hours working on design, researching materials, coming up with new ideas for testing, and constructing and doing quality control. Also, they practiced paddling on regular basis. I am just proud of them, and I commend their effort and achievements,” Abdel-Mohti said. “They proudly represented ONU among other top schools in the region.”

Adam Hamman, a senior from Bloomdale, Ohio, and Drew Richard, a senior from New Washington, Ohio, served as team captains. Other members of the team are Kevin Carper, a sophomore from Lousiville, Ohio, Analysis Engineer; Kevin Boehler, a junior from Monroeville, Ohio, Analysis Engineer; Lindsay Ziegler, a junior from Bowling Green, Ohio, Logistics Engineer; Lee Saunders, a junior from North Olmstead, Ohio, Quality Control Engineer; Paige Sechrist, a junior from Montoursville, Pa., Mix Design Engineer; Scott Sutton, a junior from Irondale, Ohio, Construction Engineer; Katie Bowman, a freshman from Richfield, Ohio; Alison Garbash, a junior from Saint Clairsville, Ohio; Nick Meyer, a junior from Cleves, Ohio; Sarah Fiffick, a junior from Stongsville, Ohio; Jamie Garbash, a freshman from Saint Clairsville, Ohio; Mary Purvis, a junior from New Haven, Ind.; Sarah Thompson, a sophomore from Goodlettsvlle, Tenn.; Stephen Berner, a freshman from North Canton, Ohio; Craig Berger, a junior from Avon, Ohio; Mike Abraham, a junior from Olmstead Falls, Ohio.