October 28, 2014

ECORE International, a company that transforms reclaimed waste into unique performance surfacing, recently donated 50 pounds of finely refined recycled tire rubber to Tennessee Tech's (TTU) concrete canoe team. This rubber will be used to create an entry in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) annual Concrete Canoe Competition, which is designed to provide civil engineering students with the opportunity to gain hands-on, practical experience and leadership skills by working with concrete mix designs. This year's competition will be hosted by TTU and will feature more than 20 canoes that each measure roughly 20-feet in length.

Last year's winning collegiate competitor added cork as one of the components in their mixture to increase the bouncy of the canoe. TTU's Co-Captain, Christine Baker, has a family connection with ECORE, which sparked the idea to use rubber as one of their key ingredients. "We are looking to put in 10 percent by volume, and are excited to give it a try this year," said Baker.

The student-organized event will host 70 judges, at least 50 TTU faculty and staff members, and more than 835 students, representing 26 schools from around world. The year-long project will be judged on four components: visual, written, presentation, and the canoe race. The team with the highest accumulated points in each area will take the National Concrete Canoe title.

"We want to show people that engineering isn't just math and science," said Tim Harrell, graduate assistant for TTU.