MSOE’s student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers participated in the Great Lakes Regional Competition at the University of Notre Dame in April. Students competed in the Steel Bridge Competition and the Concrete Canoe Competition. The steel bridge MSOE entered in the competition was one of 16 bridges, while the Concrete Canoe team competed against 17 other schools.

MSOE’s Steel Bridge team consisted of 15 team members while four of those members were the builders for the competition. The team members were Michael Anaszewicz, Logan Bertling, David Burt, Sean Casey, Ryan Christensen, Benjamin Dodd, Dawid Gwozdz, Jacob Haen, Edward Hinsa, Constantine Moshi and Riley Padron. The team worked on the design of the bridge from the middle of August until late November. The months of December and January were spent testing the connections of the bridge to make sure they could withstand the load bearing requirements. They spent February fabricating their bridge, and in March, the team practiced building the bridge up until the competition in April.

The bridge was judged on its lightness, deflection, structural efficiency and the speed at which the bridge was built. It was also required to hold 2,500 pounds. The final product was 18.5 feet long, 2.5 feet tall, and 3 feet wide. It weighed in at 126 pounds. The bridge was built in the third fastest time which was 13 minutes. They took second place and will travel to the national competition in May at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Update: On May 23, 2015, the team competed at the national competition and took second place for their display.

The Concrete Canoe Team involved many students who regularly participated in the construction of the concrete canoe and eight students attended the regional competition: Abigail Allen, Karissa Brunette, Holly Denfeld, Chris Garcia, Brian Janus, Miya Preston, Daniel Vonberg and Johanna Wang. Also on the team were Reney Bagnall, Finn Finucane, Luke Muller and Zach Regnier.

2015_Concrete_Canoe.jpgThe competition was comprised of four main categories: Design Paper, Final Product, Oral Presentation and Racing. The design paper consisted of the methods of construction, materials used in construction, hull design, concrete mix design, project management strategies and more technical aspects. The aesthetics and display of the canoe was included in the final product category. Samples of the concrete, a sectional view of the canoe, and highlights of the design paper were displayed as well. The oral presentation was about the design paper which was then followed by a Q&A from the judges.

The most exciting part for the teams is the racing of the canoes. The races are a men’s and women’s sprint, men’s and women’s endurance, and a co-ed sprint. The team is proud to say the canoe survived all five races. They finished 14th place and have bright plans for the 2016 competition. All of the team members are returning next school year and hope to make improvements.