Concrete Canoe



Since its humble beginnings in 1970, the concrete canoe project has been an annual tradition at UIUC. The project idea was conceived by UIUC Professor Emeritus Clyde Kesler as an educational and engaging design project for his honors class. Upon the completion of the 360-pound Mis-Led, Purdue University heard about this effort to construct a ferrocemento boat. So, in a true spirit of campus rivalry, Purdue challenged UIUC to a race. In May of the following year, the competition was held at Kickapoo State Park near Danville, Illinois. Following an intense, challenging contest, UIUC was officially crowned the first Concrete Canoe World Champion.

In the years since, the Concrete Canoe Competition has become an annual event, both at the Regional and National level. Every year, students from twenty Regions around the country compete, with each Region’s winner advancing to the National Competition.  Each year, UIUC tries innovative methods to improve the Concrete Canoe design.

About the team

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign Concrete Canoe Team is a multi-disciplinary design team completely managed by students. Both undergraduates and graduates from the College of Engineering and others form the active Team.

What we focus on is making a canoe out of concrete (similar to the stuff used in pavements) and eventually racing the final product in regional and national competitions. It is a great way to apply knowledge gained from the class and is one of the most respected student competitions in Engineering.

New members from all disciplines are always welcome and one does not need to have any prior background knowledge on the subject.

For more information about the current 2020-2021 team, please visit the “Our Team” Section of this Page.

**We are following all COVID-19 compliance so we are not meeting in person at the moment but feel free to reach out to either project manager if you are interested in joining! We have a lot of cool virtual activities planned! **

Sponsors for 2019-2020

We are very grateful to have Corporate Sponsors whose support allows us push the limits of Engineering Innovation and gain a greater appreciation for Concrete Technology and Application.  Click on the Logos Below to visit these companies’ websites.


Please contact with any questions concerning Corporate Sponsorship.


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