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May 15, 2007


-- National Championship Next Stop for Victorious Boat --

NEW YORK, May 15, 2007 -- The Shepard, a concrete canoe designed and built by civil engineering majors at The City College of New York (CCNY), won the Metropolitan Region Competition held on Lake Kandle in Sewell, New Jersey.  The victory qualified CCNY for the 20th annual National Concrete Canoe Competition (NCCC), June 14 – 16 in Seattle.

The overall winners of the NCCC, which is sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE), will represent the United States at the 2007 Dutch Concrete Canoe Challenge in September.

This is the seventh time in 18 years that the CCNY Concrete Canoe Club triumphed in regional competition. The club won for four years running between 1989 and 1992 and took first place again in 1999 and 2005.   In this year’s competition, the team bested defending champion Polytechnic University as well as teams from Rutgers University, Cooper Union and Fairleigh Dickinson University, among others.

“Through hard work, preparation and creativity, City College’s student engineers were able to maintain the high standards that our College has established in this competition over the years,” said club President Claudius Gumbs. “We look forward to a successful trip to Seattle for the Nationals next month.”

The canoe competition consists of four parts: a design paper, an oral presentation, the product display and a series of races to gauge its performance on water. The Shepard won the overall competition by finishing second in all four categories. 

Concrete canoes are made by applying concrete on top of a wooden mold and allowing it to cure for two weeks before the wooden mold is removed, explained Mr. Gumbs.  After that, both the interior and exterior of the canoe are painted and coated with a concrete sealant to make the vessel waterproof.

However, the canoe’s ability to float depends even more on its density. “The density of water is 62.4 pounds per cubic foot while the density of our canoe is 69 pounds per cubic foot, which is just slightly heavier than water,” he added.

The Canoe Club plans to send 16 members and The Shepard to Seattle for the finals next month. It will hire a moving van to transport the 20-foot long craft across the country and back. The club is currently raising $30,000 to make the trip.

About The Grove School of Engineering at CCNY

The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York, formerly the CCNY School of Engineering, is the only public engineering school within New York City.  It offers Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. degrees in seven fields: biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering and computer science.  The School is recognized nationally for the excellence of its instructional and research programs and ranks among the most diverse engineering schools in the country.  On November 28, 2005, the CUNY Board of Trustees named the School in honor of Dr. Andrew S. Grove, a member of the CCNY Class of 1960, and a co-founder and former chairman of Intel Corp., the world’s leading producer of microprocessors.

About The City College of New York

For 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Over 13,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Architecture, the School of Education, the Grove School of Engineering, the Center for Worker Education and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.