2020 International Concrete Dragon Boat Competition
On October 17, ZJUI successfully hosted 2020 International Concrete Dragon Boat Competition on the International Campus, Zhejiang University. 30 teams, including the university of Illinois at Urbana-champaign (UIUC), Zhejiang university, Central South University, South University of Science and Technology, Dalian University of Technology, Southwest Jiaotong University, Kongu Engineering College, gathered on campus for the event. They demonstrated the creativity and splendor of the integration of modern concrete technology and Chinese traditional culture. Wang Yufen, Deputy Secretary of Party Committee and Secretary of Commission for Discipline Inspection Committee of International Campus, ZJU, and other representatives of ZJUI faculty, attended the event.
The competition process is mainly divided into four parts, namely, hull index test, appearance display, drag racing and review including steeplechase, presentation, technical paper, etc. Due to the need of epidemic prevention and control, the invitational competition adopts the form of webcast to provide online channels for other university teams to watch and review the competition. Dragon-boat that participate in the linear speed racing will be mailed to the organizing committee in advance, under the unified control of the competition operator. Steeplechase and Project presentations will be recorded by the participating teams for review.
The competition combined professionalism, culture, entertainment, collaboration, innovation, aiming at promoting Chinese traditional culture and the domestic and foreign exchange, reflecting the progress of concrete scientific research and construction technology at home and abroad, improving comprehensive abilities of undergraduates including material and structure design, analysis and calculation and practical operation, art design, application of automatic control and interdisciplinary collaboration, etc.
Although this year’s competition has been postponed, the enthusiasm for participating in the competition of university teams at home and abroad kept growing. “There were still a lot of universities that wanted to join. At the beginning, 59 teams signed up. Moreover, the enthusiasm of students on campus has been improved. and more works are interdisciplinary.” Prof. Xiao Yan, director of the organizing committee of 2020 International Concrete Dragon Boat Competition said.
It is known that the participating dragon boats must be made of cement-based curing materials, concrete and foam formwork lightweight sandstone, among which the volume ration of concrete materials in the hull shall not be less than 50%. There is also the need to install engines and remote-sensing receivers on the boat, and remote control operators command the boat’s navigation by remote control. “This year’s teams are actively trying new technologies,” Kong You Bohong, one of Prof. Xiao’s master students, introduced. “Most of the boats’ hulls and skeletons use 3D printing technology and biomass fiber technology. In the previous on-campus competition, two other groups of students tried Wi-Fi remote module control, but they were sadly failed due to the immature technology.”
Because of the different design parameters, the performance of each dragon boat is also different in the drag racing. Some pranced and rode away, in response to the roar of the crowd, but they hit the floating ball on the edge halfway down the course and started spinning around constantly. Still others, though far behind at first, made steady progress, reaching the opposite bank first. Steeplechase, presentation, technical paper and other review sessions were carried out through the combination of online and offline methods. The judges rated the pre-recorded steeplechase videos, presentation videos, technical papers and the hull index data measured in advance according to a certain weight.
There are 14 third prizes, 8 second prizes, 3 first prizes and 2 grand prizes, as well as 9 individual awards including Technical Challenge Award, Best Appearance Design Award, International Friendship Award, etc. The teams that won the grand prizes are from Southwest Jiaotong University and Zhejiang University.
“The student-oriented competition should be fun and entertaining, and of course the dragon boat competition is also artistic. To my delight, the students are really enthusiastic and enjoy the process. Of course, the students, including instructors, also put a lot of effort into trial and error. Hopefully, in this process, students will look at technology in a primitive way, and their imagination and creativity are further stimulated.” Prof. Xiao Yan said, “I hope more technologies will be added next year, such as new energy and AI. We are also looking forward to letting the concrete dragon boats ‘fly’ and making concrete ‘spaceships’.” As for the longer-term future, Prof. Xiao Yan also put forward the goal of building an international event with the cultural background of China.
The competition was guided by Chinese Society for Engineering Education(CSEE) and Civil Engineering Education Committee. It was co-sponsored by Zhejiang University – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institute and Youth League Committee of International Campus, ZJU, and co-organized by American Concrete Institute(ACI).