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For the first time in competition history, the 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Concrete Canoe Competition featured a CERATECH™ Cement concrete canoe at the National Finals! New Mexico State University (NMSU), winners of the Rocky Mountain Conference, competed against 21 other schools at Nationals hosted by Clemson University in South Carolina, June 20th - 22nd, 2015.

NMSU was the first school in the ASCE competition's 33-year history with a green, zero carbon concrete canoe to qualify for Nationals! Two additional schools, Northern Arizona University (NAU) and the University of Illinois at Chicago, entered ekkomaxx™ concrete canoes in ASTM's regional competitions earlier in the year, with NAU just missing the cut for national competition by one place.

NMSU's overall performance put them in 11th place among the 22 schools competing at the National competition.

  • New Mexico State University (NMSU)
    • NMSU's "Grand Ascension" took first place in the Rocky Mountain Conference and an overall 11th place at the National Finals held at Clemson University in South Carolina on June 20th - 22nd, 2015.
    • Concrete strengths were over 1960 psi, with a dry weight of 55 pcf.
    • NMSU's ekkomaxx™ concrete canoe's surface was very smooth, and due to the Class C fly ash it had an attractive buff color, so they chose not to paint or stain the canoe. They received complements throughout the competition about the quality of their canoe.

To view a video interview from earlier this year with Team Captain, Jonathan Tubbs, prior to the National competition visit;

Here is a letter from NMSU's Jonathan Tubbs talking about his experience:

The Captain's perspective,

The 2014-2015 concrete canoe competition was a success for NMSU's young team. This year was full of innovation and creativity. 2015 marks the second consecutive year of placing in the top fifteen teams in the country. We were the only team in the country who eliminated a top-five nationally ranked team from the 2014 National Concrete Canoe Competition (NCCC), we were also the only team in the country that made it to nationals using a completely new-to-us concrete system. Of the twenty-two schools at the NCCC we were one of only two schools who did not completely cover our canoe with paint or stain. NMSU has always been proud to show our concrete canoes "naked", and this pride continues. (There is rumor of the rules changing next year to prohibit the use of stained aesthetics.)

One of the biggest changes we made this year was the use of ekkomaxx™ green cement for concrete from CeraTech USA (C-USA). Using the all-new concrete system created unique demands on the resources of the team. Through constant testing, relentless mix design modification, and valuable professional advice from C-USA, the team ultimately developed a very suitable mix (55 pcf, 1,960 psi, and 28-day compressive strength).

As mentioned above, this year's team was young, made up primarily of first-year members, only 5 of the 13 members on the team returned from last year. The young members all had a great time at nationals, some claiming it was the best trip they had ever been on! More important than enjoying the competition and the beautiful Clemson University campus, a few hard lessons were learned regarding the team's success in the future. We received 20 points of deductions on final product and 30 points off from our design paper, we still managed to place 11th in both of these categories. At least 35 of the 50-point deductions stemmed from one very minor mistake involving the failure to report the oven-dried unit weight of our aesthetics mix. This omission could have been fixed in ten minutes; however, it cost the team big on what we had spent nearly 2,000 hours working on. I made it very clear to the team what these mistakes cost us, and vowed to review all of their display and paper submissions to ensure this doesn't happen at competition next year. All we can do is learn from our mistakes and move forward.

Two team captains have already been elected for next year, and planning is in the works for NMSU's next generation of Concrete Canoe. Due to our early success with the use of ekkomaxx™, the team is planning on using the material again next year, I am personally very excited to work on this. I have a goal of creating a sub 50 pcf mix with a compressive strength >1,800psi. The road to nationals this year was long, trying at times, and somewhat anti-climactic in the end, however, the experience gained and the lessons learned by the returning members for next year are sure to lead to an even higher level of excellence and success in next year's competition. Go Aggies!

Jonathan Tubbs
New Mexico State University
2014-15 Concrete Canoe Team Captain