Home Page

1986 - "Humongous"


Overall length of boat:
     12 ft

Net weight of canoe: 
     450 lb

140 lb/ft3

     Chicken Wire

     Last at Regional

Regional Conference:
    U. of TN - Knoxville
    Knoxville, TN

Officers (1/85-5/85):
     P: David Peigler
     VP: Lance Moore
     S/T: Mark Peterson

Officers (9/85-8/86):
     P: Ronica Fisk (currently Ondocsin)
     VP: Mark Peterson
     S/T: Maher


Faculty Advisors:
     Dr. Bill Kane
     Dr. John Gilbert

Contact Member:
     Mr. David Pope


Synopsis:  "Humongous" was the first concrete canoe ever built by UAH.  It was 12' long and weighed approximately 450 lbs.  Our concrete (140 lb/ft3; 1,850 psi) was placed over a chicken wire mesh.  We finished last overall at the Southeast regional conference but won two second place trophies for racing the concrete canoe.

Details:  Rules dictated that the 450 pound giant be carried to the water by a maximum of 4 persons.  We used stone age technology to build "Humongous."  

The boat was placed over a crude plywood mold.  Staples, used to hold the reinforcement in place, took their toll on the crew’s knees at the regional races.

We finished last overall but won two second place trophies for racing the canoe. Not expecting to attend, the team went to the formal banquet in shorts and t-shirts.

Alumni Notes:  Humongous was built when our civil engineering program was still offered as a stem through the mechanical engineering department.  Back then, the program consisted of eight students and two faculty.  One of our faculty, Dr. Bill Kane, on the right in the above photograph, decided to accept a position at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  The other, Dr. John A. Gilbert, on the right in the first two photographs, continues to serve as our faculty advisor.  Dr. Gilbert's wife, now Dr. Kate Leonard, but a doctoral student then, was also instrumental in building the ASCE student organization at UAH.  Drs. Gilbert and Kane won one of our first two trophies for placing second in the faculty race.

Since the civil engineering program lacked the resources to be accredited by ABET, the organization was chartered as a club.  We participated at the Southeast Regional Conference as a courtesy, by invitation of our sister chapters in the region.  The trophies won in 1986 were the first secured by any engineering student organization at UAH.  Amazingly, all eight civil engineering students joined the club.  Percentage participation was never that good again!

Back to Competition History