Marquette, Plymouth Foam and The Concrete Canoe

We love projects; projects that allow us to be collaborative with our unique skill sets and within the community. Year in and out, we partner with area schools to create parade floats, science projects, theatric backgrounds and…canoes.

Each year, we are presented with an exceptionally unique task by Marquette Civil Engineering students. Marquette students along with thirteen other schools create canoes out of a special concrete mix and race them as part of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) – Great Lakes Student Conference; the event is held annually at rotating locations. This year’s competition will be held on April 14-16, 2016 at the Illinois Institute of Technology. So, what’s all the hype about the ASCE? According to their website, the Concrete Canoe competition is a national and traditional event at every Great Lakes Student Conference. This competition tests student understanding of construction materials, concrete mixtures, management, creative thinking, and very slightly, athleticism. The objective of the competition is to raise awareness of the capabilities of concrete as a construction material among civil engineering students and the general public, as well as provide students the opportunity to gain practical experience by working with concrete mixtures and construction management. The canoes will be judged by a group of experienced professionals on aesthetics, structure, quality of mixed concrete designs, and racing performance.

Earlier this week, our team had the pleasure of speaking with one of this year’s Marquette University participants, Peter Hepp, about their enduring relationship with Plymouth Foam;

“We have been in partnership with Plymouth Foam and George Palmer (Vice President) for quite some time. George offers valuable insight and is extremely pragmatic in his approach. Prior to our involvement with PFI, we were using polystyrene blocks and molding ourselves. Now we are able to dramatically reduce our time spent on the procurement of the (canoe) mold throughout the season by providing a SolidWorks (CAD) drawing and utilizing nominal sized EPS blocks to sand and fabricate to our specifications. There are a lot of moving parts including the canoe stand and color that we look to improve from the previous year. We are constantly searching for solutions that are practiced by industry professionals; valuable, time saving and cost effective. “

                We wish the MU team the best of luck as they consistently work to design and analyze the shapes and materials for their submission. Please enjoy the photos provided below by Mr. Hepp and come back to visit our page in late June to follow up on the team’s finalized project. We wish the MU team the best of luck as they consistently work to design and analyze the shapes and materials for their competition submission.