The weekend of Apr. 4 saw various schools around the Rocky Mountain region of the United States take place in the annual ASCE Rocky Mountain Regional Conference, hosted by the University of Colorado at Boulder. Mines participated in the three-day event with other schools from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico. Events included technical and non-technical paper presentations, a pre-design coffer dam challenge, and the Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge competitions.
Mines dominated at the conference, and for the first time in our school’s history our Concrete Canoe team won the regional Concrete Canoe competition with their vessel, The Kraken. They will participate in the National Concrete Canoe Competition this summer.
“This is 2019, and we’re the first of something,” stated Emmy Tran, The Kraken’s Project Manager. “It’s a really big deal.”
“We’re the first Concrete Canoe team that’s earned it by merit,” stated Grant Martin, Hull Design lead. “We came together and formed a good team and put together a dope final product. We had a goal and we achieved it.”
“Were able to pull off a canoe win and an overall win! I’ve never been more proud to be an Oredigger,” stated Adam Trujillo, Aesthetics and Paddling lead. “I felt so much pride for our school.”
The team, which consists entirely of civil engineering seniors (pictured), was incredibly proud of their accomplishments at Regionals this year. The team was proud of their cohesive theme and aesthetic quality. Their innovative wood grain texture, which they achieved by inlaying wood-texture vinyl into their canoe mold, was a highlight of their final product that they believe secured their victory.
“I’d say we accomplished all our goals,” stated Lindsey Whittington, Mix Design lead. “We produced a light canoe, [sic] we wanted to create something that looked really good aesthetically, [sic] and this year we really stepped up the expectation level for [sic] what it needs to look like.”
“I feel like we got used to the [wood grain], and we forgot that it was a really cool innovation,” stated Shelby Palisoul, Communications and Finance lead. “Then we saw everyone freaking out about it, and we realized what we accomplished there.”
The team placed first in Presentation and Final Product categories, second in Design Paper, and fifth in Racing. This combined to a total winning score of 88.7 out of 100 possible conference points. Race Day, which took place on Apr. 6, was the first time The Kraken was put in the water.
“We filled it up with water, and there was a certain point where we realized this thing was gonna float,” stated Trujillo. “Actually getting in it and seeing how it moved and felt in the water was really fun.”
The event was fun and successful for all teams in the Concrete Canoe competition this year. Brigham Young University (BYU), whose canoe Inviscid placed second overall in the canoe competition, also performed their best year yet. BYU took first place in the Design Paper category, with a perfect score of 25. Melissa Adams Cowley, the BYU Concrete Canoe team captain, also expressed pride in the team’s blue-to-white gradient on their canoe.
“I think it was a pretty good experience,” stated Cowley. “It was the highest our teamed ever placed!”
Utah Valley University was a newcomer to the competition this year with their canoe The Crackin’. Despite close themes to Mines’ own canoe, Utah Valley performed incredibly well on race day and placed 9th overall. Their achievements are huge for the university, who only this year began offering civil engineering as a major.
“I was really impressed by Utah Valley,” stated Whittington, a sentiment shared by the team. “They just started their civil engineering program and they did so well!”
The Steel Bridge team, led by civil engineering senior Jeremy Nguyen, passed loading and placed fourth overall in their competition. Mines also placed first in the pre-design and surveying competitions, helping Mines achieve victory in the overall conference.
The next steps for Concrete Canoe are the National Conference this June, hosted by the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida.
“We wanted our canoe to compete at a national level,” stated Whittington. “We usually perform well at the regional level, but we wanted to make something that was at a national level. We proud that we achieved that this year.”