Disclaimer: This website has been built and is maintained by Team UAH..  the University of Alabama in Huntsville's concrete canoe team.   ConcreteCanoe.org is not an official or sanctioned website of the National Concrete Canoe Competition.  Visitors are directed to the official website for the official rules , latest sanctioned information, and instructions for communicating with the organizing committee.

Tips and Strategy

Some individuals, schools and companies have posted tips, strategies, references, and resources that may help newcomers get going and veterans improve their efforts.

Team building, for example,  is an important part of the competition.  In 2006, Team UAH availed themselves of a corporate training programs:

Power2Transform - specializes in training and development; personality tests, and corporate training; contact John Bentley.

 Other teams schedule adventures and outings... both here in the United States and abroad.  See, for example:

Team Adventure Activities - specializes in taking people on outdoor pursuits; contact Rob Finley.     

Some schools offer independent study.  John Gilbert, for example, recently offered an undergraduate/graduate class at UAH entitled, "Strategically Tuned Absolutely Resilient Structures (STARS)."  The class was offered as a technical elective under special topics and dealt with the design and analysis of cementitious composites.  The following information is available in PDF format:

Administrative handouts (course outline including grading and attendance policies).
Class project/evaluation sheet.
homework assignments.

Class diary (class-by-class record of material covered).
Official ABET-format syllabus.

Student Evaluation Score: 98/100     Selected Student Comments:

"Excellent lectures overall."
"Class was extremely interesting" 
"One of the best courses I have ever had."
 "More classes of this type should be offered."
 "An innovative concept that has exceptional merit."
 "Bringing in other lecturers was brilliant and worthwhile."
"The class offered a very intuitive outlook on future design concepts."
"I highly recommended this course to engineers of all academic disciplines."
"The class gave me insight to higher level classes in civil and mechanical engineering."
"Student presentations revealed good ideas about the future of relevant subject matter."

National Concrete Canoe Competition Trivia
Address question below.  Run mouse over photo to reveal answer.


These photos of the World Trade Center show deformations at the level experienced by the compliant hulls used in modern concrete canoes.  Can you look beyond the devastation and see evidence of an optical technique that can be used to track the shape changes?  According to Dr. Gilbert at UAH, "The method helps us understand what actually happened during this catastrophe and may lead to a new diagnostic tool that could be used to track 'STARS'."

Team UAH also provides some good pointers for beginners:

     Team UAH - "Just Getting Started" - Tips for competing at the NCCC including suggestions for design parameters such as length, weight, concrete strength, and concrete stiffness.

OSU Alumni, Scott Rutledge & Ryan McKaskle, on the other hand, put together a concrete canoe design guide:

     Oklahoma State University - Scott Rutledge & Ryan McKaskle, "Concrete Canoe Design Guide" - A good combination of opinions, experience, and knowledge obtained from outside sources regarding concrete canoe design and participation at the NCCC.

Ohio State introduced an undergraduate course specifically designed for participants involved in the concrete canoe competition to receive university level credit:

Ohio State - "CE590 - Concrete Canoe" - Course specifically designed to receive university level credit for participation in concrete canoe competition.


"www.concrete.com" - An excellent source for technical and product information where questions may be addressed to "Dr. Concrete."

- Safety Tips from Portland Cement Association -

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) has a DVD (also on VHS) entitled "Skin Safety with Cement and Concrete" (DVD #123/ VC#123) that is available upon request, free of charge.

The PCA prefers that the students (or their concrete canoe faculty advisors) work directly with the Executive Directors of the Regional Promotion Groups (RPG).  The list of the regions with the names of the directors are listed at:

- Canoe Modeling Package from Bentely Systems, Inc. -

As a co-sponsor of the 2006 ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition, Bentley Systems, Inc., announces the availability of MicroStation V8 2004, training materials including a canoe modeling tutorial, and an 8-month license, to all student teams.  

Please note that there is an error in the offer below.  The requests for the MicroStation V8 2004 and other materials should be e-mailed to becareers@be.org.

Software and License Offer

- Top Design Reports Posted for 2005 NCCC -

The University of Wisconsin - Madison has posed the winning design reports for the 2005 National Concrete Canoe Competition...



The reports are available via our:

Design Report Page


This is a very important part of our site and we are looking for at least two schools who would be interested in collecting, maintaining, and publishing (on the web) a comprehensive library of links to tips and strategies for ConcreteCanoe.org.  We envision that each listing include a short description of what can be found via the link in question.

If you're interested in volunteering, please contact us.  Simply provide an email address to which information should be sent.  We'll make the announcement here, include the link to your library, and give you plenty of credit.  Thanks!

Typical examples of listings involving tips and strategies for competitors are:

Drexel - Carnivale, Michael, III, "Design/Build of a Concrete Canoe - From Start Line to Finish Line" - PDF Download (65096 bytes)

UCLA - "2003 Concrete Canoe Project" - project description complete with photos.

Other examples related to education, fund raising, references, and resources are:

Team UAH - "Hot Links Program" - Designed to attract sponsors via mutual web site links.

Team UAH - "Paddle-a-thon" - Fund raising mechanism for generating substantial financial support in one day.

Team UAH - Vaughan, R.E., Gilbert, J.A., "Analysis of graphite reinforced cementitious composites," Proc. of the 2001SEM Annual Conference and Exposition, Portland, Oregon, June 4-6, 2001, pp. 532-535.