students on canoe made with concrete

Last spring, NYU students made history with Sprout, a concrete canoe they engineered that took home the win in all four categories of the Metropolitan Regional Concrete Canoe Competition hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The team was mentored by Tandon School of Engineering professor Weihua Jin, who is at the forefront of research on sustainable cement-based materials.

Students using a mixer

With Sprout, the NYU team introduced several construction innovations such as using lightweight 3-D printed components and adding pumice to concrete to create a lighter building material.

Studetns filling the mold for their canoe with concrete mixture

“Making concrete crack-free has been an engineering challenge,” says team mentor Professor Weihua Jin. “Our team really impressed the judges with the innovations we introduced. We were able to produce a surprisingly glossy and smooth concrete canoe without any noticeable cracks to date.”  

Students decorating Sprout

The team also got the chance to express their artistic side, impressing the judges with detailed stenciling on the body of the canoe. In June, Sprout represented the New York Metropolitan Region at the National Concrete Canoe Competition, where it finished in the top five in the design paper and final product categories.

Students and their professor holding up a canoe

To find out more about the concrete canoe competition and see the NYU team in action, check out this student-made video: