Concrete Canoe “Miracle” by American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) at Embry-Riddle

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Team members pose with the 2014 "Miracle" Canoe project.

Team members pose with the 2014 “Miracle” Canoe project.

The ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition requires students around the nation to research, analyze, design and construct a canoe made out of concrete.  This year, Embry-Riddle’s Student Chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers, spent 780 hours designing and building a 16 foot long, 300 pound concrete canoe named “Miracle.”

Each team must adhere to the rules and regulations required by the National Concrete Canoe Committee:  30% of hydraulic cement by mass of total cementations materials, 25% of total volume for aggregates, a maximum dimension of 22 feet long and a maximum dimension of 3 feet wide.  To ensure that all rules and requirements were met, our team decided on a 16 feet long canoe that was 1 inch thick so there was no unnecessary weight gain and it was easy to maneuver in the water.  The use of lightweight materials in the concrete mix was the most important and time consuming part of this project.  In order for the concrete canoe to maintain buoyancy and to keep weight low, research and testing was done on various aggregates and cementations materials.  Glass Bubbles, fly ash, fibers and admixture were incorporated into our concrete mix because of the low costs, high strength and low unit weight.  Engineering computer programs, such as Catia, were used to model the canoe and analyze the points of maximum stress on the bottom surface.  A wooden mold was constructed to build a symmetrical concrete canoe with a smooth outside finish.

The “Miracle” Concrete Canoe Team’s designs and concrete mixes will be a studied and hold as a stepping stone for all future concrete canoes built by the civil engineering students at Embry-Riddle.

Project Leaders of the Concrete Canoe "Miracle" team (from left to right): Stephanie Cleary, Jacob Hammes, and Emily Jacobson.

Project Leaders of the Concrete Canoe “Miracle” team (from left to right): Stephanie Cleary, Jacob Hammes, and Emily Jacobson.

Student Leadership:

This project is under the direction and leadership of the ERAU Student Chapter of the ASCE.

  • President and Project Manager – Steph Cleary, BS Civil Engineering Spring 2015
  •  Vice President – Jacob Hammes, BS Civil Engineering Spring 2014
  • Secretary – Nadia Correa, BS Civil Engineering Spring 2015
  •  Treasurer – Kyle Morgan, BS Civil Engineering Spring 2016

Faculty Advisor:

Dr. Hongyun Chen, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering