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News Release

Office of News and Information
212 Whitehead Hall / 3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2692
Phone: (410) 516-7160 / Fax (410) 516-5251

March 22, 1995
CONTACT: Ken Keatley

Engineering Students Vie in Concrete Canoe,
Steel Bridge Contests

Civil engineering students from several area universities will soon get the chance to test their mettle - using metal and concrete.

Concrete canoe races and a ateel bridge-building competition will highlight the regional conference of student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Saturday and Sunday, April 1-2. Fielding student teams will be conference host Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, Catholic University, the University of Maryland and George Washington University.

Note: Members of the Johns Hopkins team -- and their concrete canoe -- will be available for preview coverage in the days leading up to the event. Call Ken Keatley, (410) 516-7907, to make arrangements.

Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon on the J-lot parking area of the Homewood campus, the teams will square off in the steel bridge-building competition. Guidelines call for the teams to design, fabricate and construct a 1:10 scale model of a bridge that would cross a river valley in a mountainous, rural region and be used by heavy trucks. The bridge must be constructed entirely of steel, using hand tools supplied by the teams. Awards will be given for construction speed, efficiency, economy, aesthetics and overall performance.

Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Hammerman area of Gunpowder Falls State Park in eastern Baltimore County, the teams will take to the river for a series of concrete canoe races. The canoes, built beforehand, must be comprised of a portland cement- based concrete mixture, and conform to rigid design and construction requirements. Co-ed, men's and women's races on both a short and long course will be held, and will account for 40 percent of a team's points. The remaining points will be earned through a number of academic judging criteria.

The overall winner of the concrete canoe competition will represent the region in the national finals, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers and Master Builders Inc., in June.

The theme of this year's regional conference is "Engineering & Sports," and will feature presentations Saturday afternoon from experts in that area.

All presentations will take place in the Clipper Room in Shriver Hall, on the Homewood campus. The schedule:

2 p.m. - Nick Jones, associate professor of civil engineering at Johns Hopkins University, will lecture on brain injuries and boxing. Dr. Jones is part of a team of Hopkins researchers studying the central nervous system function of boxers. He has developed an accelerometer, a device worn in boxing helmets to determine how blows to the head impact the magnitude and direction of head movement.

3 p.m. - Bruce Hoffman, of the Maryland Stadium Authority, will speak on the design and construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Directions to the steel bridge-building contest, from downtown Baltimore: Take Charles Street north to 29th Street. Turn left onto 29th; at the traffic light, bear right onto Wyman Park Drive. Almost immediately, turn left, again onto Wyman Park Drive. Take the second right onto Bowman Drive, which will lead to the J-lot parking area.

Directions to the concrete canoe races, from downtown Baltimore: Take I-83 to the Beltway, heading east. Take Exit 35, heading eastbound on Route 40 (Pulaski Highway). After about 5 miles, turn right on Ebenezer Road. Stay on Ebenezer for about 6 miles; the entrance to the Hammerman area of Gunpowder Falls State Park will be on the left.

Directions to the conference lectures, from downtown Baltimore: Take Charles Street north to 29th Street. Turn left onto 29th; at the traffic light, bear right onto Wyman Park Drive. Almost immediately, turn left, again on Wyman Park Drive. Take the first right. Parking is in the lots to the left.

Johns Hopkins University news releases can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/
   Information on automatic e-mail delivery of science and medical news releases is available at the same address.

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