The University of Texas at Tyler will serve as host for the 2016 American Society of Civil Engineering Concrete Canoe National Competition to be held June 8 – 12, Dr. Michael McGinnis, College of Engineering interim dean, announced.

Nearly 500 students representing about 24 schools will compete. During the annual contest, collegiate teams build canoes with concrete and are judged in four categories: technical design report, oral design presentation, canoe final product and racing. They each win their respective regions to qualify.

Serving as this year's host, UT Tyler automatically earns a spot to compete at nationals, no matter their finish at regionals, which will be held April 7 – 9 at Texas Tech University. The UT Tyler ASCE student chapter won regionals in 2009, 2012 and 2013. At nationals, UT Tyler has placed as high as 11th in the nation, with several top 20 finishes.

"Concrete canoe has actually meant a lot to our program through the years – it has been a place to test our skills and show how much we belong with the other engineering programs in the state like Texas Tech, Texas A&M and UT Austin," said McGinnis, who also serves as UT Tyler ASCE student chapter adviser. "Our students have learned so much about teamwork, motivation, trust and leadership, not to mention all of the technical skills in the competition."

All report, presentation and canoe judging will be held June 9 – 10 on the UT Tyler campus. Races will be held Saturday, June 11 at the Green Acres Baptist Church Retreat Center at Lake Tyler.

"This year's students have really outdone themselves on the creativity front," said Dr. J. Torey Nalbone, UT Tyler Department of Civil Engineering chair. "They have built a canoe that actually is made of two halves that connect together in the center with concrete bolts. I seriously doubt anyone will have seen anything like it – we're so excited to show off 'Bridgette' as she looks like an open drawbridge on display."

Among other accolades, UT Tyler has received the "ASCE Region 6 Outstanding Student Chapter Award" six of the past seven years. Region 6 comprises of 22 student chapters in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

The university also has been an ASCE Robert Ridgway Student Chapter Award finalist and received the ASCE Texas Section Award of Merit, which is the highest honor that the Texas Section can bestow on a student chapter. The Texas Section is one of the largest in ASCE with nearly 10,000 members.

Currently serving more than 125 students, the UT Tyler Department of Civil Engineering offers both bachelor of science and master of science in civil engineering degrees on both the Tyler campus and at the Houston Engineering Center.

For additional information, call 903.566.7273.

One of the 14 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 8,500 high-ability students. UT Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston.