Mines News

Release Date Thursday, March 29, 2018

Mines and American Society of Civil Engineers Host Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge Competition in Rapid City

RAPID CITY, SD (March 29, 2018) – The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers will host the 2018 Rocky Mountain Regional Conference – featuring the popular Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge competitions - Thursday through Saturday, April 5-7, in and around Rapid City.

The 2018 conference will be attended by 14 universities. Approximately 400 civil and environmental engineering students from the region will compete in the canoe and bridge competitions, as well as present both technical and non-technical papers. All aspects of the competition are open to the public.

The Steel Bridge competition takes place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 6, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Barnett Arena. Each year, the steel bridge team designs, fabricates and tests a steel bridge to compete in not only the Rocky Mountain Regional Conference, but various other contests around the country.  

The steel bridges must be approximately 20 feet in length, 3.5 feet wide and able to withstand a load of 2,500 pounds. Bridges must also be fast to assemble. The competition gives students a practical problem-solving scenario requiring teamwork and application of classroom theory as well as a real-world design experience.

“The students that participate in these competitions develop important skills that are necessary to be a successful engineer. Students have told me that they landed an internship or job primarily because of their involvement with concrete canoe or steel bridge,” said Christopher Shearer, a Mines civil and environmental engineering assistant professor and adviser to the SD Mines chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers and the concrete canoe team.

The Concrete Canoe competition will take place 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday April 7, at either Canyon Lake in Rapid City or Angostura Reservoir near Hot Springs. The location is subject to change based on weather conditions. Check here day of event for final location. The team will compete in canoe races, as well as take part in swamp testing, which entails submerging the boat to test its ability to float. Swamp testing will occur Friday, in Memorial Park in Rapid City. This is also subject to change based on weather conditions.

The SD Mines team constructs a concrete canoe from scratch. The team placed in the top 10 at the National Concrete Canoe Competition last year. In addition to designing, building and racing the canoe for competition, the team must also develop a presentation and design paper, both of which are also scored in the competition.  

A full schedule of the events can be found here.


About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,529 students with an average class size of 24. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $63,350. Find us online at sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Lynn Taylor Rick, (605) 394-2554 , Lynn.TaylorRick@sdsmt.edu

Upcoming Events

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