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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Concrete canoe team: First in region

Advances to national contest

Concrete canoe team competes for best in the nation.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release [5-12-11]

Minnesota State Mankato’s concrete canoe team will compete for the best concrete canoe in the nation next month after designing and building a craft that won first place in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Midwest contest last week in Fargo, N.D.

It’s the first time that Minnesota State Mankato has won the regional concrete canoe competition since it started competing in 2004.

The team, led by student co-captains Thomas Klevan and Shelby Sovell, was judged based on its concrete canoe design report, its oral presentation, and the canoe’s aesthetics. On-the-water races against concrete canoes from other schools usually are part of the competition, but inclement weather prevented the races this year.

The team will compete in the national concrete canoe contest June 16-18 at the University of Evansville, Ind., facing off against winners from 17 other regions across the United States.

The Maverick team used several new materials and construction techniques to build its 270-pound craft. Pre-stressed concrete reduces tensile stress and the probability of cracking, and the team incorporated recycled glass, plastic and other materials into the concrete to make it lighter than water.

The canoe’s name “Ingenium” is the Latin origin of the word “engineer.” The team chose a Roman theme based on the Pantheon, the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world.

The American Society of Civil Engineers sponsors the regional and national competitions. Other participating universities in the Midwest region include the universities of Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin-Platteville, as well as Dordt College and Iowa State University.

Minnesota State Mankato’s American Society of Civil Engineers student chapter is led by Spencer Cossalter, and civil engineering faculty members Farhad Reza and James Wilde are chapter advisers.

Concrete canoe team members include Cossalter and team co-captains Klevan and Sovell as well as Aleigha Ahlstrom, Mike Arseneau, Dana Draper, Sarah Green, Andrew Gunnink, Jon Rahkola, Tim Setala and Maria Tiegs.

Those who want more information about competition may contact Mechanical & Civil Engineering faculty advisor James Wilde at (507) 389-5252.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,393 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 32 state institutions.

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