Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, April 27, 2016

MilkyWave Concrete Canoe Takes 1st, Heads to Nationals

Members of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology concrete canoe team pose with the award-winning MilkyWave, which is heading to national competition in June.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (April 27, 2016) – The 2016 concrete canoe team from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology will compete in the nationals for the first time in 10 years after recently taking first overall in the regional Rocky Mountain Conference.

The MilkyWave from South Dakota Mines will compete at nationals to be held at the University of Texas in Tyler on June 9. The concrete canoe competition requires students to design and construct a concrete canoe, which is judged on speed in sprint and endurance races, as well as appearance, structural conformity of the finished product, a design paper and presentation.

The winning canoe was part of the South Dakota Mines American Society of Civil Engineers student chapter team, which placed second overall at the Rocky Mountain Conference hosted earlier this month by the University of Colorado-Denver and Metro State in Denver, and which also included the university’s steel bridge team.

The MilkyWave placed first overall in the final product, second in oral presentation and third in design paper. The canoe team also placed second in the men’s sprint, men’s endurance and coed sprint races, third in women’s sprint and fourth in women’s endurance.

Participants included captains, Sam Sorger and Drew Vance; officers, Dalton Lyons (organization manager), Katie Reed (aesthetics) and Matt Seitzer (mix design); paddlers, Megan Brown, Brigit Kelly, Melissa Montoya, Anna Larson, Drew Hinker, Justin Slattery, Dalton Lyons and Sam Sorger; and faculty advisor, Chris Shearer, Ph.D.. Additional participants included Zach Hansen, Jeremy Feist, Caitlin Hone, Kathleen Ryan, Brylee Streeter, Erik Vik, Naomi, Marcus Cannon, Taylor Green, Jamie Smith, Elizabeth Larsen, Gideon Bode, Chaz Kieffer, Kylie Peyton, Kyle Carey, Laeken Stugelmeyer and Cody Schellinger.

The steel bridge, Steeling the Show, competed with a boundary-pushing and efficient design. The bridge included newly-designed interlocking connections on the deck and similar interlocking connections to last year’s bridge in the superstructure. The biggest challenge this year was in the setup of the construction site. The site included a river that spanned the entire width of the site as compared to the river with a causeway in last year’s competition. The bridge was built with just two people on one side of the river. The team then rotated the bridge to the other side in a daring maneuver. The bridge team was one of two teams to build on one side, then innovatively move it to the other.

Steel bridge team participants included captains, Riley Olson and Shaun Preszler, and builders, Cole Walters and Chris Romanjenko. Additional participants included Chelsey Herber, Joe Hemmer, Jasmine Peiper, Jesse Parker, Nolan Johnson, Kathleen Ryan, Megan Brown, Michael Dollarhide, Nicholas Claggett, Kevin Barry, Chad Reimer, and Benjamin Braun. Andrea Surovek, Ph.D., is the steel bridge team advisor.

The Mystery Design members were Laeken Stugelmeyer, Chelsey Herber, Kenneth Shaffner and Zach Hansen. Mystery Design was composed of two different events. Their first task objective was to create a Rube Goldburg machine using simple office materials to get a marble from one end of the table to the other with a slight nudge. The marble was to start at table level and end at table level. The second task objective was build a DaVinci Self-Supporting Bridge using only a picture of the completed bridge as guidelines. Since this event is meant for social networking, the team was split with other universities to work on the most efficient design. 

The technical paper was written and presented by Joseph Updike and Timothy Felker. The paper topic was on the use of hempcrete as a sustainable building material. They placed third overall in the technical paper-presentation. The non-technical paper on civil obedience was written by Jacob Oberpriller. He placed second overall in the non-technical paper-presentation.

The concrete canoe and steel bridge teams are part of the Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (CAMP), a student-centered, hands-on engineering program. A key part of the CAMP experience involves designing, building, testing and competing in a variety of engineering challenges. The program actively combines the classroom experience where students apply their developing technical skills in real-world situations that involve fundraising, planning, deadlines, and international competitions where the teams test their mettle against universities from around the world.

SD Mines students competing in the competition were: Hunter Vincent, Zachary Hansen, Jacob Oberpriller, Brylee Streeter, Chelsey Herber, Joe Hemmer, Riley Olson, Shaun Preszler, Brigit Kelly, Sam Sorger, Dalton Lyons, Elizabeth Larsen, Jasmine Peiper, Jesse Parker, Jamie Smith, Joseph Updike, Kenneth Shaffner, Nolan Johnson, Kathleen Ryan, Drew Vance, Anna Larson, Justin Slattery, Jeremy Feist, Drew Hinker, Katie Reed ,Gideon Bode, Michael Dollarhide, Marcus Cannon, Melissa Montoya, Taylor Green, Megan Brown, Chaz Kieffer, Chris Romanjenko, Matt Seitzer, Nicholas Claggett, Kylie Peyton, Kyle Carey, Laeken Stugelmeyer, Caitlin Hone, Kevin Barry, Chad Reimer, Cole Walters, Benjamin Braun and Cody Schellinger.

The ASCE student chapter is advised by Chris Shearer, Ph.D., Jennifer Benning, Ph.D., and practitioner advisor John Niemela. Shearer is the concrete canoe advisor, and Andrea Surovek, Ph.D., is the steel bridge team advisor.


About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Fran LeFort, (605) 394-6082, Fran.LeFort@sdsmt.edu