Great Lakes

Student Conference


Concrete Canoe


Steel Bridge

GLSC 2015 at ND

Each spring, Notre Dame ASCE participates in the Great Lakes Student Conference, an event bringing together ASCE members from approximately 18 regional universities for three days of competition in areas spanning the breadth of civil engineering. The two main competitions are the Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge, with smaller competitions including Materials Design, Technical Paper, Quiz Bowl, Geotechnical Design and Mystery Design. More information regarding the 2020 competition in Madison, WI can be found       . This conference fosters a spirit of healthy competition as well as camaraderie amongst participants and NDASCE is fortunate to participate. We would especially like to thank the following sponsors who have supported our teams and helped us to attend conference every year. If you are interested in donating to and becoming a sponsor of the Notre Dame ASCE Chapter, please contact us at


Concrete canoe starts in the fall with the mix design team, who develop and test various mixes in order to produce a canoe that is​

  • lightweight 

  • able to float

  • environmentally-friendly

  • capable of supporting paddler loads


The construction team begins hull design in the fall but the majority of the physical work happens in the spring. In January, the mold for the canoe is constructed and casting occurs shortly after in February. In addition to the main canoe, the team will also cast mini-canoes in order to test new hull designs.

Concrete Canoe

Each year, the Steel Bridge team designs and constructs a ~20 ft long and ~4 ft tall bridge designed to withstand a series of loading conditions.

  • Design

    • The design phase usually lasts the fall semester

    • Completing and testing design involves using computer programs such as SAP and AutoCAD

  • Construction

    • The construction phase occurs during the spring

    • Constructing the bridge involves learning various construction techniques such as welding and drilling

    • There are also fundraising, administration, financial, and steel ordering roles that aid in bridge construction

  • Competition

    • Three criteria decide the bridge's overall score: construction speed, lateral displacement under loading, and vertical displacement under loading

    • Aesthetics of the bridge and creativity also affect the overall score

Steel Bridge
2015 Great Lakes Student Conference

The University of Notre Dame has been privileged to host the 2009 and 2015 ASCE Great Lakes Conference. Because hosting this competition requires a large deal of funding and effort, so the Notre Dame ASCE chapter will like to thank all those who helped put on a very memorable competition that spring, whether through donations or by volunteering in different competition aspects of the GLSC. Visit for more about the 2015 conference.

© 2019 by ND ASCE

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