“It’s definitely going to be a tough competition,” said Angeli Gamez, project manager for the team. “But we’ll use it as inspiration to do well and go to nationals.”
The Mid-Pacific conference competition will take place Friday and Saturday at California State University, Sacramento. Last April, the UNR team advanced from the regional competition to win second place at the national conference in June, besting 22 other North American teams.
The competition engages engineering students by testing their technical skills in designing, building and paddling concrete canoes. Students work through 76 pages of ASCE rules and regulations, which change slightly every year. Nevada’s 25 team members have been working on this year’s canoe since last September.
Nevada’s team practices its paddling at the Sparks Marina every Saturday and Sunday, through rain or snow, and meets several times a week to work on the canoe. This year’s canoe, named Black Diamond, is 20 feet long, half an inch thick and 31.25 inches at its widest part. ASCE rules stipulate teams have to use two recycled aggregates in the concrete mix. This year, Nevada’s team made its own aggregate out of glow-in-the-dark air soft pellets.
Nevada’s team must win first place at the regional competition in order to compete nationally. The top three national teams win $5,000, $2,500 and $1,500, respectively. The University of Nevada’s team has appeared at the national competition five times before, including when it won the national title in 2008.
For more information, visit www.ascemidpac.org/home.