Students to display their engineering skills

Civil engineering students will test their skills as they build concrete canoes, steel bridges and sand tunnels Friday and Saturday.

The U chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers is hosting the regional conference with a total of 278 students coming from New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota and an additional 70 from the U, said Ben Fowler, the society’s U chapter president.

The students will try to float concrete canoes, build the strongest steel bridges and present their research at events across the valley.

Non-partisan, professional engineers will judge all of the competitions, Fowler said.

A career fair will also take place at the Little America Hotel with other events there as well.

“All students are welcome to watch the events,” Fowler said.

For more information, visit

Sheena McFarland

Concrete Canoe Competition and Related Events April 810 a.m. to noon Friday at Aquatech, 9435 S. 255 West, Sandy: Before Saturday’s races, the canoes must be subjected to a “swamp test” in which they are completely submerged and then must float to the surface. For directions to Aquatech, see

April 99-11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Little America Hotel’s Ballroom East: Teams building the concrete canoes will give oral presentations to judges on how they built their canoes and the materials they used.

1-5 p.m. at Highland Glen Park, Highland: Aesthetics judging of the concrete canoes from 1-1:30 p.m., followed by concrete canoe races from 1:30-5 p.m. Races include women’s slalom/endurance, men’s slalom/endurance, women’s sprint, men’s sprint and co-ed sprint. For directions to Highland Glen Park, 10189 N. 4800 West, Highland see

Other Events April 89:30-11:30 a.m. Technical papers will be presented in the Little America Hotel’s Flagstaff room.

Nontechnical papers will be presented in the Little America Hotel’s Sun Valley room. The subject of these six-minute presentations is, “Computers, Civil Engineering, and Ethics.”

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Career Fair displays will be set up by some 20 to 25 companies in the Little America Hotel’s Ballroom East.

1-3 p.m. Pre-design event (in which students are told in advance what they will design) will be held at the Little America Hotel parking level P2. Students in this event will build a scale-model tunnel using sand, water and a 4-foot-long, 6-inch diameter PVC pipe. The pipe is placed in sand, just the right amount of water is added to the sand and the pipe is removed. The tunnel must “hold” without the pipe. Weight then is added to each tunnel. The winning tunnel is the one that withstands the most weight before collapsing.

1-6 p.m. Steel Bridge Competition at the Little America Hotel, parking level P2. Students have been working on designs for six months to a year. They must build a scale-model steel bridge between two points. They are judged on construction speed, bridge weight, aesthetics and how much weight the bridge can support. Bridges are disqualified for supporting less than 2,500 lbs.

1-3 p.m. Friday, April 8: Mystery Design event will be held at the Little America Hotel parking level P2. In this event, students do not get to prepare designs in advance. They will be asked at the event to build water-pressure bottle rockets using plastic soda bottles.

1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 9 at Highland Glen Park, Highland: Mystery Design event, launch portion. The bottle rockets will be launched, and must hit a target. For directions to Highland Glen Park, 10189 N. 4800 West, Highland, see