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Ohio Northern University wins three awards at regional concrete canoe and steel bridge competition

Apr 24, 2014

Ohio Northern University garnered three awards at the 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers’ regional concrete canoe and steel bridge competition held at the University of Detroit Mercy, March 28-30.

The Ohio Northern concrete canoe squad captured the best theme award and, as a team, placed third on design paper and second on oral presentation.

In the concrete canoe competition, ONU competed against teams from Michigan Technological University, Western Michigan University, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Lawrence Technological University, University of Toledo, Michigan State University and Detroit Mercy University. Michigan Technological University took top honors.

Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Mohti, assistant professor of civil engineering, served as the team’s adviser. “These projects help students apply things that they learn in class and to practice completing an entire project from the design stage to the construction stage. 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 and steel.”

In the concrete canoe competition, each team is graded on the design paper, oral presentation, final product and the races, which include women, men, co-ed sprints, and women and men endurance. This year’s ONU canoe is called Interception. It measures about 20 feet in length, about 27 inches at its widest point, and 10-12 inches deep. Its total weight is approximately 155 pounds. This year’s canoe is much lighter than last year’s model because the students put a significant amount of effort to arrive at a new design to give them a lighter canoe.

“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,” Abdel-Mohti said. “I am just proud of them, and I commend their effort and achievements. They proudly represented ONU among other top schools in the region.”

Nathan Shay, a senior civil engineering major from Enon, Ohio, and Kevin Carper, a senior civil engineering major from Louisville, Ohio, served as team captains. Other members who competed were Josh Bryan, a senior civil engineering major from Coraopolis, Pa.; Stephen Berner, a senior civil engineering major from Beloit, Ohio; David Bruckelmeyer, a senior civil engineering major from Millersport, Ohio; Victoria Smith, a junior civil engineering major from Dunkirk, Ohio; Emily Puleo, a sophomore civil engineering major from Greensburg, Pa.; Jamie Garbash, a senior civil engineering major from Saint Clairsville, Ohio; Katie Bowman, a senior civil engineering major from Richfield, Ohio; Jake Maher, a freshman civil engineering major from Ada, Ohio; Jason Mavis, a junior electrical engineering major from Fredericktown, Ohio; Heather Sapp, a sophomore engineering education major from Springfield, Ohio; Cody Seiler, a freshman civil engineering major from Mount Victory, Ohio; Duncan Shremshock, a freshman civil engineering major from Mount Vernon, Ohio; and David Wallie, a junior mechanical engineering major from Perry, Ohio.

This also marks the third consecutive year that ONU has had a steel bridge team competing in the regional conference. In this competition, each team is graded on construction speed, lightness of the bridge, display, stiffness, economy and efficiency.

Abdel-Mohti added, “ONU steel bridge team is a young team, but it is moving in the right direction. The team mission this year was to set a foundation for success in future years. The team did a good job to accomplish all of the phases of the project. They accomplished design, fabrication, and construction of the steel bridge. What they have done this year will undoubtedly help make the team successful in coming years. They were able this year to reduce the time needed to construct the bridge, as they constructed the bridge in less than 15 minutes. I commend them for their dedication and eagerness to finish the project on time and to represent our institution.” 

ONU competed against Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University.

Grant Weirich, a senior civil engineering major from Woodville, Ohio; Jonathon Hoopes, a senior engineering major from Beloit, Ohio; and Ryan Fowler, a senior civil engineering major from Seville, Ohio, served as the team captains. Other members of the team are David Woolley, a senior civil engineering major from Gainsville, N.Y.; Mitchell Schulze, a junior civil engineering major from McClure, Ohio; and Joel Perry, a junior civil engineering major from St. Marys, Ohio.

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