Story by Daniel Ricci
Once again, student competition teams in the Department of Construction Management have demonstrated their excellence.
After a record-setting 2016 trophy haul, there were questions about whether this year’s competition teams could match the performance of last year’s. Well, the results are in. CM student competition teams rose to the challenge and brought home an unprecedented five first-place finishes. They added several individual awards as well.
The competition season started with a first-place overall finish at the Associated Builders and Contractors competition in November. The National Association of Home Builders competition team followed with a strong finish at its event in early January, placing 10th out of 35 teams. The Roofing team was chosen to compete at the National Roofing Contractors Association Convention in March. Additionally, the Mechanical Contractors Association of America team advanced to the final four of their competition.
CSU had one of its strongest finishes to date at the Associated Schools of Construction competition, held in Sparks, Nevada. The CM department sent more than 60 students and faculty advisors representing seven teams — Commercial, Design-Build, Heavy Civil, Mechanical, Preconstruction, Sustainability, and Virtual Design and Construction — to the event, which brings together over 1,300 students representing 45 universities to showcase their knowledge, creativity and presentation skills.
The CSU Design-Build, Mechanical, Preconstruction and Sustainability teams all finished first in their respective categories, a level of excellence unmatched by any other school. Additionally, Karina Smith of the Mechanical team earned recognition for her outstanding individual performance. Ben Egan and Rupal Vaidya, participating in the Alternates competition, helped their teams to first- and third-place finishes too.
‘Eager to learn’
As intense as the events are, the preparation required is just as demanding. “They worked day and night, sometimes from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.,” faculty adviser Mohammed Mehany said of the Design-Build team. “They were eager to learn and improve. They had great work ethic, teamwork and leadership. I am so proud of what they accomplished!”
All of the teams demonstrated a similar level of commitment, spending long hours studying past problem statements and familiarizing themselves with different scenarios and questions they might face during their event. They also immersed themselves in the tools and software needed to create their proposals. Barry Hall of the NAHB team described the experience this way, “We learned how to problem-solve, how to back up solutions with logic, and to present findings in a professional manner.”
The continued high-level performance of the CSU teams is a testament first and foremost to the students. But it is also important to recognize the other contributors. Faculty advisers offer guidance and help steer the teams’ preparations. Industry mentors critique team presentations and offer guidance on their approaches during the lead-up to the competitions. The teams’ successes are a reflection of the preparation, commitment and teamwork found in the Department of Construction Management.
The Department of Construction Management is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.