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The University of Alabama

UA Engineering Students to Compete in Concrete Canoe Event


Concrete canoe team members Owen Killeen, left, and Nathan Klenke prepare this year’s canoe for competition.

Editor’s note: The concrete canoe team practices on the Black Warrior River at 1 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, contact Adam Jones in engineering public relations, 205/348-6444 or

TUSCALOOSA,  Ala. — A team of University of Alabama engineering students will return to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Southeast Conference Concrete Canoe Competition in Miami March 14-16.

Co-Captain Josh Morrison said the team roughly doubled in size and their budget also increased, allowing it to buy the mold for their canoe this year instead of constructing it themselves, which Morrison said saved the team more than 300 hours of labor. This year it took four hours to construct the canoe instead of the usual 8-12 hours, he said.

After pouring wet concrete over the foam mold to establish the canoe’s shape, the team finished construction by applying a layer of fiber mesh reinforcement between each of the two layers of concrete. Afterward members placed the canoe in a large tub of water to hydrate the concrete, allowing it to harden.

The day before the competition each team will display their canoe and, since they saved so much time by purchasing the mold, the UA team was able to put significant effort into the construction of their display, a model of a castle which they constructed with wood and tile.

“This year we’re having a King Arthur theme,” Steven Burroughs said.

Approximately 20 teams will compete, and each will be judged on their display, an oral presentation, an 18-page paper detailing their process and a canoe race.

The team consists of the following:

  • Captain–Steven Burroughs, a senior civil engineering major from Saraland
  • Co-Captain–Josh Morrison, a senior civil engineering major from Etowah County
  • Co-Captain–Nathan Klenke, a junior civil engineering major from Lebanon, Ohio
  • Co-Captain–Carrie Pope, a senior construction and civil engineering major from Linden
  • Kristi Bardosi, a junior civil engineering major from Orangevale, Calif.
  • Maddy Bodiford, a sophomore civil engineering major from San Ramon, Calif.
  • Kelly Cason, a sophomore civil engineering major from Huntsville
  • Brennan Glynn, a sophomore civil engineering major from Madison
  • Jennifer Lester, a sophomore civil engineering major from Overland Park, Kan.
  • Preston Jutte, a freshman civil engineering major from Franklin, Tenn.
  • Owen Killeen, a junior civil engineering major from Preston, Conn.
  • Kiley Morrison, a senior in civil engineering from Ashville
  • James New, a sophomore civil engineering major from Hockessin, Del.
  • William Phillips, a junior construction and civil engineering major from Northport
  • Brittany Shake, a junior civil engineering major from Flower Mound, Texas
  • Tina Sheikhzeinoddin, a junior civil engineering student from Vestavia Hills
  • Jenna Simandl, a junior in civil engineering from Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Rick Tyler, a junior in civil engineering from Tuscaloosa

The American Society of Civil Engineers was founded in 1852 and is the oldest American national engineering society.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has more than 3,900 students and more than 110 faculty. In the last eight years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz, Mitchell and Truman scholars.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.