“Concrete canoe really has all the aspects of a construction project, just on a much smaller scale. I think it really prepares us as students for what we are going to face once we start our careers,” said Tanner Alley, concrete canoe project manager and fourth-year civil engineering student. “It really represents a construction project in its entirety from the design phase to planning; it has project management aspects to it; there is a whole construction phase; we have to take into account being efficient and sustainable; we have to budget.”
Participation in ASCE gives students a chance to develop skills in design and hands-on construction, as well as soft skills such as teamwork and leadership ability, said Abhijeet Deshpande, UC civil engineering professor and the student chapter’s advisor. For this reason, he said he tries to take a hands-off approach to advising and let the students lead the way.
The UC student chapter has a close relationship with their neighboring professional chapter of ASCE in Cincinnati, which helps the student leadership team find potential speakers and make other industry connections. 2020 also marks the centennial of Cincinnati’s professional chapter of ASCE, which includes many UC alumni. The two groups plan to coordinate a combined celebration to mark 100 years, possibly in the fall.