A Colorado School of Mines Senior Design team, the CSM Oardiggers, is entering their squid-inspired canoe, named Humboldt, into the Concrete Canoe Competition at the American Society of Civil Engineers Rocky Mountain Student Conference April 4 and 5 at Colorado State University.
“The squid is part of the symbology of fighting your inner monster,” EPICS and civil engineering (CE) student Melodie Houston said. “It’s a really menacing sea creature that has its own mysterious intimation.”
CE student Alex Walker was the lead artist for the team, primarily developing and executing the graphic design. Team leader and CE student Edward Huss says the squid played a major role in the hydrodynamic design of their canoe.
“One of the main things that will differentiate us from other teams will be that our hull is shaped like a squid, which will allow us to cut through the water,” Huss said. “This, along with the smooth finish, will give us a competitive edge.”
CE student Katie Courtright is relying on the stability of the canoe. The canoe must be light enough to be competitive in the races, but still strong enough to avoid cracking and capsizing.
“We did some really advanced structural analysis this year; we were able to take more risks and feel confident in them,” Courtright said. “Our canoe is lighter and will be faster for the competition.”
The 21-member team will be judged on their engineering design paper, oral presentation, overall aesthetics and four races in Horsetooth Reservoir. This year the top two teams from the regional competition will advance to nationals. Last year, Mines placed third in the competition, losing by a margin of one place in one race.