The 27th annual National Concrete Canoe Competition was held June 19 - 21. 2014 at the University of Pittsburg Johnstown. The National Concrete Canoe Competition is a project which allows civil engineering students an opportunity to get practical, hands-on experience in concrete design. The competition creates a larger interest in the capabilities of concrete technology amongst civil engineering students and the public at large.
The Concrete Canoe Competition is put on by The American Society of Civil Engineers or ASCE. Founded in 1852, the ASCE has more than 140,000 members today in over 160 countries. The goal of the ASCE is "to enhance the welfare of mankind through the advancement of the science and profession of engineering." The Committee for National Concrete Canoe Competition is a group of volunteers associated with the ASCE that assist, host, and judge the canoe competitions. Each team is judged on on the canoe, but also on an oral presentation, a design paper and several races with the concrete canoe. Not only are these canoes designed to look great but they are made to be functional in competitive racing. A rigorous set of rules and guidelines must be followed every step along the way.
Representing the Pacific Southwest Conference with their fifteenth national appearance was California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo (SLO). SLO's canoe "Ambrosia" and crew received second overall (University of Nevada - Reno won first) among the 23 participants. Ambrosia's delicate lettering and colorful mural were etched into the canoe using Surface Gel Tek's patented gelled acids and Flattoo system.
Each year Surface Gel Tek supports Civil Engineering students by providing insight, support and product discounts to the concrete canoe participants. Surface Gel Tek maintains a strict policy of confidentiality as they work with each University. No one knows each year which universities the company is working with until the final National competitions are completed.
Out of the 5 canoe projects that Surface Gel Tek sponsored during the 2014 competitions (Arizona State University, Kansas University, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo, and University of California - Berkeley), two of the teams using the company's Flattoo graphic system made it to the Nationals.