MELBOURNE, Fla.—A Florida Tech student team and their 2007 concrete canoe placed second in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Southeast Regional Competition’s concrete canoe event. About 800 students, representing nearly 30 universities from Florida, Puerto Rico, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, attended the three-day competition. It was held at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Florida Tech participated in 13 of the 15 events, including the concrete canoe and steel bridge. The canoe and bridge events require thousands of hours of design, construction and finishing work each year. The canoes and bridges challenge engineering students with problems that cannot be found in the classroom.
Florida Tech students, primarily civil engineering majors, took home 13 awards. Team members were Joseph Morrissey and Kolby Maddox, concrete canoe team leaders; Amy Bennett; Sebastian Doucet; Tim Johnson; Yineree Chin Fong; Dana Buccelli; Carl Sandin; Lennon Shade; Gwen Tullar; Troy Dudich, Troy Rock; Tony Heard; Susan Smith; Peter Nunes; Jeremy Crowe; and Adolfo Espino. Brandi Alderson, a chemical engineering student, and Jaime Hogan, an environmental science student, also participated. Supporting the team were alumna Rachel Gerena, 2006 concrete canoe team leader and engineer for the City of Palm Bay, and her husband, Jaime Gerena, an engineer with Northrop Grumman Corp.
The students designed, built, displayed and raced their 2007 concrete canoe, the 20-foot, 185-pound General Lee. The canoe team is judged in four areas: technical paper, five-minute presentation, final product and five races. In the races, men and women paddlers compete in a combination of sprints and distance events. The General Lee team took second place in all its races.
Additionally, Florida Tech earned first place for steel bridge aesthetics and for the technical paper. The paper, written by senior Troy Rock, was on the topic of eminent domain and the taking of privately-owned land for public projects, such as roadways. Also, senior Jeremy Crowe and freshman Peter Nunes took second place in the transportation category. This involved using software in a theoretical situation to evacuate 16,000 people from an arena during an emergency.
Dr. Paul Cosentino, professor of civil engineering, is the faculty adviser for Florida Tech’s ASCE student chapter. The president of the chapter, Kolby Maddox, oversees all events. He and the participating students thank this year’s numerous sponsors.
The steel bridge and General Lee will be on display at Florida Tech’s Student Design Showcase. It takes place on April 13, from noon to 4 p.m., on campus, in the Clemente Center for Sports and Recreation.
The student chapter participates annually in the regional ASCE competition. The Florida Tech concrete canoe team was the national champion in 1997.
Florida Tech offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in civil engineering. Visit the Web site at http://civil.fit.edu/
PHOTO: From left to right: George Norton, Justin Farenga, David Florenz, Michael Depaolo, Jeremy Crowe, Katie Basom, Dana Buccelli, Nick Hansen, Eric Orr, Carlos Frade Garcia