The University of Cincinnati (UC) Construction Student Association’s (CSA) competition team represented UC at one of the largest national competitions in the construction industry, the ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) Construction Management Competition in Orlando, Florida, from November 5-9, 2017. The team placed 2nd Overall and UC’s Construction Student Association won ABC’s 2017 Student Chapter of the Year award. This is the second Student Chapter of the Year award that UC CSA has brought home (previously 2015) and it comes with a $2000 prize as well as a trip for two students to attend ABC’s Legislative conference in D.C. in June 2018.
The UC CSA team is comprised of College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management (CAECM) Construction Management Program (CM) students Nick Smith (Project Manager), Austin Schultz (Estimator), Clayton Plute (Superintendent), Drew Orris (Safety & QC), William Molle (Alternate), Brian (Kade) Miller, (Alternate). Alternates assisted other team members in their roles, and were also responsible for 3D & 4D modelling of the project using various software tools. The team was coached by Professor Amanda Albrecht, Assistant Professor-Educator, CEAS CM Program Director, and CSA faculty advisor.
Additionally, the competition team placed 2nd in the following subcategories; Safety, Project Management & Scheduling, and Estimating.
The team's Project Manager, Nick Smith, says, "There was a lot of long days and late nights leading up to the competition, but in the end it definitely proved worth it. Being called up to the podium five separate times validated all of our hard work and was one of my proudest moments as a Bearcat!"
The team worked for two months on campus on “step 1” in which they had to prepare a written response (estimate, schedule, project management plan, safety plan, and QC plan) to an RFP, as if they are a construction company responding to an owner. Upon arriving at the conference, they competed in “step 2,” which entailed adjusting their response to the RFP to account for a variety of surprise changes that were given to them over a 5-hour period. A subset of the teams (about 1/3) were chosen to progress to “step 3,” the oral presentations. The project this year was estimating a hotel currently under construction at Universal Studios in Orlando—it was right across the street from the competition hotel!
Elliott Ice, UC CSA President and Civil Engineering senior, reflects on the team’s big Chapter of the Year win, “The team put an incredible amount of effort into their proposal, working diligently prior to the event. This competition is an amazing learning opportunity and networking experience for our student members. The efforts of the team paid off in an enormous way. The yearly efforts of the CSA student organization were recognized as well, being awarded the ABC Student Chapter of the Year.
Companies around the nation consistently see the UC brand receiving prestigious awards and placing highly in these competitions, which cultivates our organization’s and the CAECM department’s reputations. Industry professionals are recognizing our construction program as a top contending program in the nation, providing countless opportunities for our talented students.”