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NMSU Concrete Canoe team places second in regional competition

The New Mexico State University student chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers rowed "The Who Canoe" to second place overall in the 2006 Rocky Mountain Regional Concrete Canoe competition.

NMSU's concrete canoe team, back row left to right: Diego Benavidez, Zach Trujillo, Brian Smith, Edward Montoya, Paul Evans. Front row, left to right: Concepcion Mendoza, Shannon Roe, Mary Chapler, Melissa Cline, Haley Cowen, Ashleigh Wilson, Kristen Fajardo. In front: faculty adviser Kenny Stevens. (NMSU photo by Victor Espinoza)

The competition had four parts: construction of the canoe, writing a report on the construction, giving a 10-minute presentation, and participating in racing events. The NMSU team won first place in the Men's Sprint, Women's Sprint, Coed Sprint, and Women's Endurance, third place in Men's Endurance, first place for the Design Paper, second place in Presentation, and fourth place in Final Product. Teams were awarded points for academic and racing events, which were added up to determine the overall winner.

Kenny Stevens, an associate professor of engineering technology and faculty adviser for the team, estimated that about 4,000 hours were spent on canoe construction this year. The team spends nearly a year in preparation for the competition, Stevens said.
The competition gives students an opportunity to apply what they've learned in the classroom, he said. "They have to take all the stuff that they learn and make something out of it."

A former student recently contacted Stevens to tell him that he had gotten a job because of his experience managing the concrete canoe team.

The competition also provides a chance for students from different engineering fields to get to know one another.

"This is one of the few opportunities that engineering technology students get to hang around with traditional engineering students, and they learn about each other," Stevens said.

The NMSU team decided on a Dr. Seuss theme for their project this year. "The Who Canoe" is bright green with smiling blue fish adorning the sides, along with many other "Seussian" details. The theme extended beyond the canoe, of course: The entire 10-minute oral presentation rhymed.

Team members were Melissa Cline, Paul Evans, Ashleigh Wilson, Edward Montoya, Mary Chapler, Shannon Roe, Concepcion Mendoza, Diego Benavidez, Brian Smith, Ben Rodriguez, Haley Cowen, Jorge Rosales, Jose Rosales, David Rodriguez and Kristen Fajardo. Faculty advisers were Stevens and Craig Newtson, associate professor of civil engineering.

This year's competition was held in April in Rapid City, South Dakota.

For more information call Stevens at (505) 646-2491 or visit cagesun.nmsu.edu/~asce/Canoe/canoe_2006.html.