civil engineering students test the waters.
the national Concrete Canoe Competition, sponsored annually
by the American Society of Civil Engineers, has been around
for nearly three decades, one university entrant is getting
its feet wet, so to speak, for the first time in seven years.
On June 22, Drexel University
in Philadelphia will welcome teams from around the country
to race canoes in the Schuylkill River that were designed
and built out of concrete back on campus. This year is the
first time the University of Maryland will be competing since
1996. The Maryland team of ten students won the regional competition
in April and are gearing up for the national competition.
The squad is led by Michael Hudak,
a junior civil engineering major, who got involved mainly
for the challenge. Hudak, 22, is from Hagerstown, Md. and
came to UMD for its civil engineering program and the sports.
The 10-member team worked round-the-clock on its canoe.
Hudak assumed the role of project
manager on the concrete canoe team. He split the group into
three committees: canoe design, presentation and design report,
and mix design, which was led by Jack Kwait-Blank, another
civil engineering major. In leading canoe mix design, Kwait-Blank
says he "had to find the recipe. I called different compa
The concrete canoe competition
isn’t the only thing keeping these two aspiring engineers
busy. Both are interning with civil engineering firms this
summer. Hudak is working under a project manager at Bovis
Lend Lease in Bethesda, Md. Kwait-Blank is working in College
Park, Md., for Forester Construction, where he is interning
at the University of Maryland Health Center Site.
As for the competition, “Our canoe
is on the heavier side,” Hudak says. “I think we’ll do well
as a team… I think we’ll hold our own.