History of ConcepT

The Beginning

On Wednesday January 24th of 1990, at café ‘’t Pleintje’ in Hengelo, Holl, Hageman, Haaze, Ten Bok and Boes, as well as six other students of Public Administration (Bestuurskunde) and Business Administration (Bedrijfskunde), founded a 'department association' (vakgroepvereniging) for civil engineering. The founders decided to name it 'ConcepT', as they said: “If it doesn’t work, we could always say that it was just a concept.” They had decided to join forces to secure the quality of education and organise activities for the civil engineering oriented students of the University of Twente. 

Back then, students of the studies Public Administration and Business Administration could follow a ‘civil engineering’ track. It was a concept program consisting in theory of 50% technical courses, 25% Public Administration and 25% Business Administration. In reality, the technical part of the course covered way less than 50%. There were few choices within the program and complaining did not help either, because the program was just a trial. 

In 1992, the University of Twente started the study Civiele Techniek & Management (Civil Engineering & Management). ConcepT became the study association for this study. 

The 90’s

After its establishment, ConcepT grew a lot. At the end of the twentieth century, the boards professionalised, organised more and bigger activities, and expanded and improved the cooperation with companies in the work field of civil engineering.

In 1993, the first ConcepTueel came out. It became the professional journal of ConcepT, containing substantive articles and information about the work field of civil engineering. Also in 1993, the first symposium of ConcepT was organised. This symposium had the theme ‘Congestie in kaart gebracht’ (Mapping Congestion) and was the start of an annual tradition. 

2000 - 2004

In 2000, ConcepT celebrated its second lustrum. The theme of this celebration was ‘Evenwicht’ (Balance). In the same year, the name of the study it represents changed to Civiele Techniek (Civil Engineering), dropping the Management from its name, although management remained a significant part of the study. At the end of 2000, ConcepT moved to its current location in the basement of the Horst. During 2001, the ConcepT-room and the Hans Kampingplein were furnished, creating a meeting place for ConcepT members.

While the ConcepT-room was being furnished, the very first Study Tour Committee was busy organizing the Study Tour ‘China Challenge’. Unfortunately, this tour ended prematurely due to the prevailing SARS epidemic. 

2005 - 2009

To celebrate its third lustrum, in 2005, ConcepT built a Crate Bridge for the first time. ConcepT achieved a world record by building a bridge with a span of 7.60 m, a headway of 5.91 m and a total construction height of 7.65 m out of 2200 beer crates. The theme of this lustrum was ‘TrajecT’ (Track).

In 2007, ConcepT organized the Concrete Cano Race (CCR, in Dutch: Betonkanorace - BKR) on the campus of the University. In the same year, the BetonBrouwers were established as the concrete canoe committee of ConcepT and have since been a stable team in every CCR organized.

In 2006 and 2008, two more Study Tours were organized: 'Rising India' and 'Gateway to Africa' (South-Africa).

2010 - 2014

During the lustrum of 2010, a new Crate Bridge world record was attempted. In contrast with the theme ‘Geen brug te ver’ (No bridge too far), this attempt failed.

In 2012, when Serious Request was held in Enschede, ConcepT built a huge green Christmas tree out of beer crates on the Van Heekplein in the city centre of Enschede.

Since 2014, the yearly symposium of ConcepT has an integral theme, containing water, traffic and construction workshops and lectures. This change was made to make the symposium more appealing to all members of ConcepT. 

ConcepT further improved its professionalism during this time period. A new ‘house-style’ was created, a new website was built and the number of activities was increased. Also, three Study Tours were organized: 'Booming Brazil' in 2010, 'Urban Asia' (Singapore and Indonesia) in 2012 and 'Latin Links' (Argentina and Uruguay) in 2014.

2015 - 2019

In 2015 ConcepT celebrated its 25th birthday by organising various activities. For this fifth lustrum with the theme 'Staat als een dijk' (Strong as a dike), a big swimming pool out of beer crates was built on the Ganzenveld. The building of this pool ended with a big pool party.

During the autumn of 2016, a group of about 25 students went to the United States of America to visit the country of endless possibilities during the Study Tour ‘American Ambitions’.

In the spring of 2017, ConcepT once again had the honour of organizing the CCR. This time, the CCR was held on the Twentekanaal.

From the summer of 2017 onwards, the Bachelor of Civil Engineering gradually transitioned into English. For ConcepT, this meant a rise in international students and a change to English as our lingua franca. 

In 2018 the Study Tour 'Join Japan' went to Japan to visit the country of the rising sun.

Furthermore, ConcepT once again tried to break the Crate Bridge world record in 2018. The CraTeX committee worked hard for months to accomplish this record, and attemted a span of over 26 meters. Together with a building team they started building the bridge, and after a week, all the crates were put at the right place. During the Open Days of the University of Twente the record attempt would have started. However, the attempt was canceled at the last moment. 

2020 - now

In 2020 ConcepT celebrated its 30th birtday by organising multiple events in the first two weeks of February. The theme of the sixth lustrum was 'In Bridges We Trusst'. Multiple parties, a beer sixcamp, a BiLa ('Binnenlandsreis'), several professional activities and even a deep fry eating contest were organised. The lustrum did not have a beer crate stunt, but in 2020 new plans were made for a Crate Bridge record attempt, with the working title 'The Golden Crate Bridge'. However, from March 2020 until February 2022, the Covid-19 pandemic prevented the event from taking place for a long time. 

The Covid-19 pandemic impacted the association in other aspects as well. For two years, the ConcepT room was often closed for members, and the restrictions prevented many activities from taking place in their regular way. For example, two symposia took place in an online environment, and the Study Tour of 2020 was first postponed and eventually canceled. 

When the restrictions for the most part got lifted at the end of February 2022, ConcepT immediatly started building the Crate Bridge, for which the committee had started two years earlier. An ambitious design with a span of over 35 meters was made, and the building period took two weeks. Despite the hard work from the building crew and the committee, the record attempt eventually failed late at night. 

In the autumn of 2022 a Study Tour was organized again. The theme was 'Eastern Tigers', and about 30 students visited the United Arab Emirates and South Korea. 

2023 was the first year that was truly free of covid-measures again. It was a lot of fun to be able to organise all activities without restrictions, such as the BuLa to the polish City of Gdansk. 

2024 had a major highlight in the spring, namely a Concrete Canoe Race on the Twentekanaal, the first since 2017. The Betonbrouwers were able to claim a lot of the prizes. Besides, the BuLa visited Brno in Czechia, and the study tour visited Taiwan and Australia.