The first-of-its-kind in India, a Concrete Canoe competition for the students studying in engineering colleges was held at IIT Madras with the sole objective that what ever the students learn during their education are able to apply the learnings in real life situations.
The ICI-IITM National Concrete Canoe Competition (NCCC) 2015 was the first national level competition held at IIT Madras in which students from various universities, all over India made their own canoe, rowed them to compete with each other. It was a 9-month-long project in which students performed structural and stability design and further studied on various materials to build light weight and high strength concrete, two-seater canoe. They also got exposure to tools in project management and an opportunity to develop leadership skills. Each team had to submit two interim reports before submitting the final one. Each team had to design and fabricate the concrete canoe at their home institution and transport them to IIT Madras for the final competition/canoe racing during August 21-23, 2015. The competition was held at the towing tank (82 x 3.2 x 2.8 m), which is a unique facility at IIT Madras. Also, exhibition of canoes, racing and academic/industrial lectures, etc. were planned during the event. The competition was a unique opportunity for the students of civil, architecture and ocean engineering. IIT Madras conceptualised the competition in resemblance with the ASCE Concrete Canoe competition in USA. Total 35 teams from six states had registered for the competition. The participating colleges struggled through two rounds of report evaluation at different times of the year to prove their canoe´s theoretical efficiency and their time management skills. Earlier it was decided to select 15 teams for the final round, but due to close proximity in the reports, the number was increased to 19. These 19 teams descended upon the third round in IIT Madras that included IIT Bombay, NIT Trichy, VIT Vellore, SRM Easwari Engineering College and SRM University, Kattankulathur. Ten teams were qualified for the final race including RMK College of Engineering (Two teams); Amrita College of Engineering (two teams), Coimbatore; Prathyusha College of Engineering; Poornima Group of Institutions, Jaipur; NIRMA University, Ahmadabad; SRM Easwari College of Engineering; SRM University Kattankulathur; and IIT Bombay.
The competition allotted 30 per cent of the points to canoe racing and 70 per cent were given to technical aspects such as report submissions, poster presentation, adequate design, research and aesthetic beauty of the canoe. Out of the technical aspects, about 30 per cent marks were allotted for mix design under the categories of material characterisation, innovations and sustainable measures and the weight of the canoe. The mix designs of all the colleges have a generic composition, which can be owed to the availability of the materials at reasonable costs around their region and also it being their first time. Most teams have focused on light weight aggregates and reinforcements. Some teams have used admixtures as well for water reducing, shrinkage reducing effects. The cementitious materials apart from OPC-53 used were metakaolin, silica fumes, slag, fly ash, etc. Aggregates had a much wider range covering fine sand, perlite, vermiculite, crushed plastic, cenospheres, crushed glass, etc. The winning team´s mix design was not that apart from the usual but the team with the lightest canoe.
SRM University has won India´s first National Concrete Canoe competition, based on the overall points it stood ahead of the other institutions. Two member rower team Abrar Bashir Malla and Muhammad Essa Abu Bakar set a record of 32 seconds (Boy-Boy) to complete 50 m in concrete canoe racing. Adithya Eswaran and Vishruth Krishnan, along with 12 other students of department of Civil Engineering conceived the idea under the guidance of Assistant Professor, S Pradeep.
The team systematically worked for the development of canoe design. The first challenge was to come up with the proper concrete mix. This was done by the mix design team (Adithya Eswaran, Vishruth Krishnan, Shriya Kumari, Jinesh R Sanghvi, Sayana Sherif, Siddhart Satish & Namrata Solanki). The structural design team (Sai Sabarish M, Abrar Bashir Malla, Muhammad Essa Abu Bakar) took charge of the stability analysis. Around 150 structural concepts were revised for this. Peerzada Abdul Basit, student of M Tech, Structural Engineering also helped the team for the race. Over 20 designs were experimented and tested to get the final concrete mix. The canoe was cast on July 12, 2015 in six hours.
The winning team had the fastest lap in 32 seconds (Boy-Boy). In the boy-girl race SRM had another record of 42 seconds by rowers Muhammad Essa Abu Bakar & Sayana Sherif. The girl-girl race of the team at the competition finished with 60 seconds by the rowers: Shriya Kumari & Sayana Sherif.
The entire exercise was coordinated by National Concrete Canoe Competition (NCCC) organising committee comprising of IIT Madras and ICI.