The University of Hawai’i College of Engineering’s concrete canoe team is headed to Platteville, Wisconsin! …at least virtually anyway. UH earned a spot in the tournament for the first time since 1996 after being selected in the Wild Card drawing. Despite being the Wild Card, the team says they intend to summon all of their grit and determination to be the Ace of the tournament.
Because of COVID-19, something of a balancing act was required of students this year. Fortunately, this team proved adept at the challenge. “We found it imperative to adapt to the constantly changing situation, while focusing on maintaining the project’s integrity and momentum for future years,” according to Chandelle Takahashi, the team’s project manager and structural analysis captain. She added; “Recruiting members was more difficult since full-scale construction and paddling — some of the project’s more appealing aspects — were not required for this year’s competitions.” Still, they managed to assemble a team that was equal to the task. Earlier this year, the team’s collaborative skills and hard work earned a 2nd place result at the ASCE Pacific Southwest Conference (PSWC) — a regional tournament.
If those challenges weren’t enough, midway through the project, the team’s longtime advisor — Prof. Roger Babcock — was hired away by Honolulu’s mayor in an effort to solve some of the city’s most pressing engineering dilemmas. It was a plea for help he couldn’t refuse. Thankfully, the guidance he gave early in the project was critical and put the team on the right footing. But with Babcock gone, the team was missing an experienced engineer to guide them. Fortunately, a brave and equally skilled professor rose to advise the team. Prof. Oceana Francis’s guidance has made all the difference between failure and success, but she gives all the credit to the students; “The students did an amazing job presenting at the PSWC 2021 conference. Their presentation was top notch and their delivery was excellent.” The team will need to repeat that at nationals as they compete against 17 other elite teams from across the United States and one from China.
The competition runs from June 25-27, with team presentations taking place on the second day between 4 am and 3 pm HST, streamed live on Facebook. More information can be found at https://studentconferences.asce.org/ccc2021.
The team consists of:
Chandelle Takahashi (captain)
Ansen Nakasato (captain)
Micah Lum (captain)
Kay Hian Calpito
*participated at PSWC only