Civil engineering students from 19 universities across Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico gathered in Orlando for the ASCE Florida Section’s Southeast Symposium. The event, hosted at the University of Central Florida campus, allowed students to put their academic skills to the test. FINFROCK, in partnership with the Florida Prestressed Concrete Association (FPCA), sponsored the UCF ASCE chapter team (Go Knights), recognizing the event’s importance in nurturing the next generation of engineers.

Kids engaging in STEM activities at the Orlando Science Center
Concrete Canoe Challenge

The symposium featured flagship competitions that showcased engineering prowess and teamwork. The ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition challenged teams to design, build, and race concrete canoes, aiming not just for victory but also to influence future competitions with new design prototypes.

Since the 1960s, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student chapters have competed to be the best at designing, constructing, and racing concrete canoes. This year, teams answered a call for Technical Proposals and Enhanced Focus Area Reports. They competed to win the bid on a prototype standardized canoe design for future concrete canoe competitions.

FPCA & PCI present the Mini Prestressed Beam Competition

The FPCA & PCI Mini Prestressed Beam Competition is an opportunity for teams to showcase their innovation with prestressed concrete beams. Sponsored by the FPCA and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), this unique challenge is a testament to academic learning combined with real-world engineering practices.

Prestressed Concrete is a type of concrete that is reinforced by pulling steel strands to create tension, resulting in superior durability. To simulate this, the teams use bass guitar strings as the prestressing force within a concrete beam. Each team has control over the desired shape of the beam, but factors like formwork dimensions and the amount of concrete material influence the final product.

Student Steel Bridge Competition

Another highlight was the AISC/ASCE Student Steel Bridge Competition, where students applied classroom knowledge to construct scale-model steel bridges. This hands-on challenge emphasized not only technical skills but also teamwork and industry connections.

Each student team developed 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 teams had to determine how to fabricate their bridge and then plan for an efficient assembly under timed construction conditions at the competition. Bridges were also load-tested, weighed, and judged on aesthetics.

photo of FINFROCK employee promoting CTE

As a silver sponsor for the conference, FINFROCK’s support went beyond financial assistance; it signified a commitment to fostering engineering talent and innovation. By backing events like the UCF ASCE Southeast Symposium, FINFROCK invests in the future of the industry while solidifying its position as a leader in engineering excellence. Through partnerships that encouraged collaboration, innovation, and bold thinking, FINFROCK helps to shape a future where engineering knows no bounds.

UCF ASCE Student Chapter Competition Rankings

First Place
  • Jacobs Solutioneering Competition
  • Geowall Competition
  • Concrete Canoe Competition: Proposal Category
  • Concrete Canoe Competition: Presentation Category
Second Place
  • Southeast Design-Build Challenge
  • ASCE Student Steel Bridge Competition: Cost Estimate Category
Third Place
  • ASCE Southeast Student Symposium: Overall
  • Concrete Canoe Competition: Overall
  • ASCE Student Steel Bridge Competition: Economy category
  • ASCE Student Steel Bridge Competition: Aesthetics category
  • ASCE Construction Institute Student Symposium Competition