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University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering
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Concrete canoe team makes fourth trip to nationals

With a concrete craft dubbed the "Phibrous Phantom," a team of UW-Madison civil engineering students placed 12th at the National Concrete Canoe Competition, June 18-20, in Rapid City, South Dakota.

It was the fourth consecutive year the team advanced to the national competition, which is conducted by the American Society of Civil Engineers with major funding from Master Builders, Inc.

UW-Madison's 1998 concrete canoe, the "Phibrous Phantom," on display. (large image)

Some 250 innovative engineering students from 22 schools participated in the 11th annual event, leaving nearly 200 teams in their wake at regional run-offs this spring. The Badger paddlers won the Great Lakes regional competition in May.

Each team was judged on written and oral presentations detailing their canoe's design, construction and materials; a "swamp test" in which submerged canoes must pop up and float; and a series of sprint and distance races.

All canoes were constructed with concrete and reinforcing materials. Concrete is made by mixing an aggregate (sand or gravel) with cement and water, causing the cement to bind the entire mass.

The University of Alabama-Huntsville was this year's national champion.