ASCE Society-wide Competitions

ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition

ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition

Since the early 1970s, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapters have competed to be the best at designing, constructing, and racing concrete canoes. During that time, canoe mixtures and designs have varied, but the long-established tradition of teamwork, camaraderie, and spirited competition has been constant. Each year, teams, their associates, judges, and other participants build upon this tradition. This year, teams answered a call for Technical Proposals and Enhanced Focus Area Reports and are competing to be the winning bid on a prototype standardized canoe design for future concrete canoe competitions. Learn more about the competition.

ASCE Sustainable Solutions Competition

ASCE Sustainable Solutions Competition

The ASCE Sustainable Solutions Competition challenges students to develop a stronger understanding of sustainability and learn to incorporate sustainable solutions into everyday problems that engineers incur. Students are encouraged to be creative in their solutions and use all resources available. Learn more about the competition.

2023 Topic

The fictional City of ASCE wants to revitalize one downtown block of Engineer Street. The City hopes to turn the underutilized area into a gathering place for the community and reimagine the surrounding spaces to create a cohesive and walkable corridor.

ASCE UESI Surveying Competition

ASCE UESI Surveying Competition logo

The ASCE UESI Surveying Competition’s educational and professional goals include a recognition of the importance of basic surveying principles to all civil engineering projects. Students will be required to use standard field and office equipment and procedures to solve common problems encountered in industry. A clear understanding of and ability to apply basic surveying principles will assist the graduate civil engineer in communicating and working with the surveying professionals on the job site and during the design process. Learn more about the competition.

ASCE Innovation Contest

The mission of the 2023 ASCE Innovation Contest is to develop an innovation that addresses one of the following three ASCE Report Card topics: Drinking WaterEnergy, and Roads. There is also a direct connection to the UN Sustainability Goals. Participating teams will develop and pitch their innovation to the judges and at a minimum provide proof-of-concept for its feasibility and innovative potential. The closer your innovation is to having a proof of concept and a business plan, the more persuasive the result.

Student Steel Bridge Competition

ASCE and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) are partnering to offer the Student Steel Bridge Competition (SSBC) at ASCE Student Symposia.

The Student Steel Bridge Competition challenges students to extend their classroom knowledge to a practical and hands-on steel-design project that grows their interpersonal and professional skills, encourages innovation, and fosters impactful relationships between students and industry professionals.

Each student team develops a concept for a scale-model steel bridge to span approximately 20 feet and to carry 2,500 pounds according to the competition rules. The team must determine how to fabricate their bridge and then plan for an efficient assembly under timed construction conditions at the competition. Bridges are also load-tested, weighed, and judged on aesthetics.

ASCE Student Symposium Paper Competition (MANDATORY)

The ASCE Student Symposium Paper Competition emphasizes the importance of being able to write and present a paper as essential communication skills for all engineers and often necessary for advancement in your career.

Good faith participation in the ASCE Student Symposium Paper Competition, including submission and presentation by at least one (1) member of the ASCE Student Chapter, is a requirement to advance to an ASCE Society-wide Competition Finals.  Competitions requiring this include Concrete Canoe, Student Steel Bridge, UESI Surveying, Innovation Contest, and Sustainable Solutions.

No other Society-wide competition report or paper may serve as a submission for the ASCE Student Symposium Paper Competition.

Per ASCE’s Code of Ethics, engineers govern their professional careers on fundamental principles that, above all else, protect and advance the health, safety, and welfare of the public through the practice of Civil Engineering.

Most engineering designs rely on regulations that trickle down from federal, state, and county levels. In some situations, regulations and the ethical considerations of engineers may not always align due to regulations requiring updates to incorporate new standards of practice or as a result of outside influences.

How does an engineer balance regulations and ethics?

Entries for the contest shall be limited to 1 paper from each ASCE or AEI Student Organization and must be submitted through the Faculty Advisor.


  1. Members of Student Organizations of the Society who are in good standing at the time their papers are submitted are eligible for the contest, unless they have previously received the national award for which they are competing.
  2. Papers for the national contests shall (a) be limited to 1 paper from each Student Organization; (b) not exceed 2,000 words in length; (c) be written by only 1 person; and (d) not have previously been published in other school or Society publications.

The name of the file shall follow this format:

Mead Student Prize – Author’s Last Name – Name of University.pdf

Submissions should be sent to [email protected] and must be received on or before 11:59 pm (CST) March 15th.

Regional Competitions

Regional Competitions


Students are challenged to design and build their own retaining walls. The walls will be tested until failure by simulating a live load of hundreds of pounds of sand. This competition is a favorite among aspiring geotechnical engineers. Rules will be released within the second mailer.

Concrete Cornhole

A favorite tradition amongst the Great Lakes regions. Students will design and build their own cornhole boards out of concrete. Points are awarded based on aesthetics, weight, and overall strength. Students will get to compete against one another in a high stakes cornhole competition as one miscalculated throw could mean a broken board.

Scavenger Hunt

Students will be sent throughout the University of Minnesota Duluth campus as they solve various civil engineering-related problems and challenges.


A casual volleyball tournament will be offered to those not competing in the concrete canoe races.

Concrete Frisbee Golf

Students will be tasked with designing and manufacturing 5 concrete frisbees to use on a course of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty.