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Knowledge, technique win them 2nd place in global challenge

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (Nov 16, 2007) – With the continually rising demand and cost of concrete, engineers and material scientists must know the right formulas for reliable concrete performance. There’s no room for waste or structural failure.

Testing their “concrete” mettle once again in the singular Concrete Cube Competition, held last month in Puerto Rico, Tidewater Community College Civil Engineering Technology (CET) students bested their prior years – and 17 other teams. The TCC trio won second place in the international competition put on by the American Concrete Institute (ACI).

“This was a benchmark year: we took second place, up from eighth in the last contest in 2005,” says Chris Cartwright, head of CET. “A hands-on experience like this is excellent for our students. They get to mix strategy and skills with networking among colleges like Penn State, Arizona State University, N.C. State and universities from Mexico, Chile and Puerto Rico.”

The contest challenges student knowledge and technique to create a dense cube of concrete, meeting tight specifications for strength and mass. This year’s objective was to produce a cube that achieved, as closely as possible, a target design strength of 40 MPa and a target mass of 230 grams per cube. TCC’s entry had a target design strength of 37.2 MPa and a target mass of 230 grams.

Competing against students from 12 colleges and universities in the nation and around the globe, TCC’s team – the only community college contender – featured Eddie Foley, Chad Oxton and Matt Sargent, led by Cartwright, their faculty advisor. “Our goal was to finish in one of the top three spots,” notes Cartwright, “so we’re pleased with our results.”

The ACI is a nonprofit technical and educational society organized in 1904 and is one of the world's leading authorities on concrete technology. The next Concrete Cube Competition will be in 2009.




Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - enrolls over 38,000 students annually, the second largest undergraduate student body in Virginia. The 35th largest community college in the nation, TCC is among the 20 fastest-growing large two-year institutions in the United States. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-six percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit