Overall length of boat:
18 ft 4 in.
Net weight of canoe:
Graphite Pre-Impregnated Tape
1st at Nationals
P: Christelle Lindner
VP: Nora Sassenfeld
S: Kirk Biszick
T: Raquel Brown
Dr. John Gilbert
Dr. Michelle Crull
Mr. R. Hollingsworth
Mr. Jeff Lindner
Reinforced with graphite prepreg tape too old for use in the Space Shuttle, the
"Rock-It" propelled UAH to its first national championship.
Constructed using a very lightweight concrete (73 lb/ft3; 3,410 psi), the 18'4" long, 79 lb boat was never beaten in any race.
This effort marked the beginning of a new era in reinforced concrete design and construction.
Our boat was constructed by
placing concrete over a graphite composite matrix. The
reinforcement was vacuum bagged and cured in a large oven at NASA; it
weighed less than 11 lbs.
Dressed in space suits,
the presentation team [from left to right in the photo below: John
Murphy, Nora Sassenfeld, Jeff Lindner, and Christelle Hendren (Lindner)] delivered one of the strongest presentations
judges highly commended the team for their unique efforts.
We also performed well
in the races and, when all was said and done, UAH joined the ranks of
Berkeley and Michigan as a national concrete canoe champion!
Alumni Notes: Dr. Gilbert's negotiations with Marshall Space Flight Center Director
Jack Lee to secure the materials for the canoe resulted in NASA passing the first "Space
Act" in history.
This mechanism has been used many times since to facilitate interaction
between that agency and universities throughout the world.
Southeast Regional, Jeff Lindner
and Dr. Gilbert recorded the fastest time of the day while winning the faculty sprint
race. Our Chapter won the overall Regional title and
advanced to nationals.
Christelle Lindner made good on her promise to lead the team to victory at
nationals, and there
words to describe how we felt after winning the competition. For
those that participated, it was the thrill of a lifetime. We could
all tell our friends, relatives, and future sons, daughters, and
grandchildren that we were once national champions!
As the veteran of the team, John Murphy remained silent during the visual
presentation in an effort to give the newer team members a chance to
answer the slew of questions that the judges asked. When the timer
informed the judges that they had time for one last question, one of
them turned to John and asked him what his role was. The crowd
roared with laughter as Murphy flexed his arms and proclaimed that he
was recruited as "the muscle." Christelle was quick to point out
that John was our past president. The judges replied, "enough
said," and victory was ours!
The banquet hall echoed UAH! UAH! UAH! when we were
declared the winner. As the crowd
cheered, Christelle nudged president-elect Charles McDowell to pick up
the trophy. A new tradition was born, and all of us followed them to the podium to pick up our trophy.
Charles filled the trophy with champagne and passed it around the room for all to share
in our moment of glory.
The members of the UC Berkeley team were among the first to congratulate us
on our victory. The score on wins was finally four to one, in their favor.
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