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UT Tyler wins big in Concrete Canoe Competition — Places 6th at Nationals

UT Tyler wins big in Concrete Canoe Competition — Places 6th at Nationals

Omar Acuna, 2023 Concrete Canoe Captain, Junior at the University of Texas at Tyler
Hannah McGinnis, 2023 Concrete Canoe Captain, Junior at the University of Texas at Tyler
Esther Fajardo, 2023 Concrete Canoe Captain, Junior at the University of Texas at Tyler

July 2023

University of Texas at Tyler at the 2023 ASCE National Concrete Canoe

The University of Texas at Tyler team was proud to present “Camoo” at the 2023 ASCE Region 6 Student Symposium. In order to encourage unity within the engineering department, construction management (CM), construction engineering (CoE), and civil engineering (CE) majors were encouraged to join the team. This diversity allowed for greater perspectives to problem-solving and encouraged networking between disciples. An accumulation of 25 members, including three captains and five officers, made up the entirety of the team. Leadership included two CE Captains, Esther Fajardo (Jr.) and Hannah McGinnis (Jr.), as well as one CM Captain, Omar Acuna (Sr.). Interestingly, this was UT Tyler’s first year enacting a quality control/quality assurance officer. This role was held by senior, CM major Russell Rinehart, who had experience with proper testing techniques for concrete. Rinehart’s goal was to control the consistency of the mix during testing and “placement” day. Additional Officers include Samuel Gentry (Jr.), Chandler Hosh (Jr.), Keagan Rios (Jr.), and Gerardo Perez (Jr.).

2023 Region 6 Student Symposium University of Tyler Concrete Canoe Team

Going into this year, more than half of the team had less than one year’s experience competing in the concrete canoe competition. Fortunately, those members who participated last year were filled with inspiration from the 2022 ASCE Region 6 Student Symposium. This encouraged the team to generate excitement toward experimentation, growth, and learning. For example, this was UT Tyler’s first year using a female mold. The mold was cut using an on-campus CNC machine, which Construction Captain Omar Acuna had to familiarize himself with after the knowledge was lost with previously departed Captains. Additionally, this was UT Tyler’s first year using basalt mesh and second year making a flat stern canoe. The entire canoe was constructed from a single mix, which took multiple testing phases and 5 months to design. The final mix was composed of over 80% recyclable material, as accomplished by Mix Captain Esther Fajardo. The outside of the canoe was decorated to resemble that of a bull with notable aesthetics such as inlaid names, a fully looped nose ring, a 3D tail, and a 3D brand. The entire canoe weighs approximately 380 lbs and is 21 feet in length.

At regionals, UT Tyler was able to take first place Overall. This was accomplished by winning 2nd in Final Product, 1st in Oral Presentation, and 1st in Technical Proposal. In preparation for ASCE’s Student Championship, the team made adjustments to their Technical Proposal and Oral Presentation; but all else remained consistent. Paddle practices were conducted nearly every weekend during the school year and once during summer. These practices were led by the team’s Paddle Captain, Hannah McGinnis, who also served as this year’s Structural Analysis Captain. At the ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition, UT Tyler was able to win 6th place overall, which set a new record for the school’s history. 

This year’s Captains are very proud of their team and very thankful to their advisors, Dr. Michael McGinnis and Dr. Michael Gangone, for working hard and providing the motivation needed throughout the year to lead to UT Tyler’s victory.


  • Esther Fajardo (CE, Jr.)
  • Hannah McGinnis (CE, Jr.)
  • Omar Acuna (CM, Sr.)


  • Russell Rinehart (CM. Sr.)
  • Samuel Gentry (CE, Jr.)
  • Keagan Rios (CE, Jr.)
  • Chandler Hosh (CE, Jr.)
  • Gerardo Perez (CE, Jr.)


  • Angel Suarez (CE, Sr.)
  • Bradley Smith (CE, Grad.)
  • Bryan Gluck (CE, Jr.)
  • Christopher McMillan (CE, Sp.)
  • Ernesto Colorado (CE, Jr.)
  • Karen Rivera (CM, Jr.)
  • Lidia Cabrera (CM, Sr.)
  • Luis Ortiz (CE, Jr.)
  • Manuel Salazar (CE, Jr.)
  • Mason Mattern (CoE, Fr.)
  • Riley Christian ( CE, Sp.)
  • Samuel Acuna (CE, Sr.)
  • Steven Luna (CE, Sr.)
  • Tyrus Krueger (CE, Sr.)
  • Victory Amos-Nwankwo (CE, Jr.)
  • Zachary Wilson (CE, Sr.)
  • Alex Martinez (CM, Fr.)