Student Clubs

Civil Engineering Department

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ACI Concrete Canoe Team

Our Student Clubs

We have some of the most active student clubs on campus as they frequently take on team projects for national competitions and participate in regional and national conferences.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

ASCE is the oldest engineering society in the United States and caters to more than 115,000 professionals and 15,000 students in civil engineering.

The purpose of this ASCE student chapter is to increase participation and interest in the civil engineering discipline through involvement with practicing engineers, the national organization, and community service. Here at UMD, we focus on developing professional relationships as well as personal friendships. We also work to provide opportunities for students to participate in national competitions, attend conferences and seminars, and network with local professionals in civil engineering.

American Concrete Institute (ACI)

ACI is our student chapter of the American Concrete Institute, the world's leading authority and resource for the development of consensus-based standards around concrete.

The purpose of our student organization is to increase knowledge of concrete design, construction and materials while developing partnerships with industry professionals. We do this through participation in student competitions, social events and service projects, and by hosting educational seminars.

Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

The SWE mission is to encourage women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity.

Open to both men and women in engineering, the UMD SWE chapter attends regional and national conferences, hosts speakers from engineering companies, organizes outreach events with the Duluth community, and has several social gatherings throughout the year.

Members who participate in volunteer opportunities, are eligible for scholarships and awards, and have the chance to network with other students and professionals in engineering.

For more information, check out our Facebook page, or contact the club officers at

Team Competitions

Concrete Canoe Competition

Every year, students in our ASCE student chapter construct a concrete canoe as part of a nationwide competition. They start from scratch, even creating their own concrete formula. (See photo above of the 2016 team in the casting phase.)

Geowall Competition

GeoWall is a student competition in which students design and build a model retaining wall out of construction paper. The wall must hold back a box full of sand plus an additional load that varies year to year. The goal is to use as little construction paper as possible without having the wall fail. The team is scored on a number of variables including a design paper, weight of paper used, deflection of retaining wall, etc. Our team competes at a regional competition once a year. In 2017, our team took first place at the regional competition and went on to compete at nationals in Phoenix, AZ and got 5th place overall. Geowall is a great opportunity to meet and network with students and faculty from other schools.

Steel Bridge Competition

The UMD Steel Bridge team entered its inaugural competition in the 2017/2018 academic year.  "The mission of the ASCE/AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition is to supplement the education of civil engineering students with a comprehensive, student-driven project experience from conception and design through fabrication, erection, and testing, culminating in a steel structure that meets specifications and optimizes performance and economy. The competition increases awareness of real-world engineering issues such as spatial constraints, material properties, strength, serviceability, fabrication and erection processes, safety, aesthetics, and cost. Success in inter-collegiate competition requires effective teamwork and project management. Future engineers are stimulated to innovate, practice professionalism, and use structural steel efficiently."