Bearcat Success at OCA

Construction Management student team has another successful competition.

Date: March 8, 2011

By: Kelley Ujvary 

The six Construction Management students who won the ASC Regional Student Competition this fall in Chicago have gone on to succeed at yet another competition. 

On Thursday, February 24 through Saturday, February 26 in Columbus, Ohio, the Ohio Contractors Association (OCA) held their 11th annual Estimating Competition

CEAS Construction Management students Adam Brooks, 3rd year, Greg Christensen, 5th year, Kyle Dues, 4th year, Tim Lees, 4th year, Mike Schweer, 4th year, and Luke Wurzelbacher, 3rd year were led to the competition by advisor Ihab Saad in hopes of bringing home yet another Bearcat construction victory.


Back Row: Greg Christensen, Tim Lees, Mike Schweer, Kyle Dues. Front Row: Luke Wurzelbacher, Adam Brooks.

The competition began on Friday with a pre-bid meeting.  This is where teams got their assignments and had 8 hours to complete their proposal and turn it in by 5:00 pm. 

As several of the team members were returning participants, they had a general idea of what to expect going into the competition.  “The project changes every year, but the assignment is the same,” says team member Christensen. 

Teams have the task of developing an estimate and creating a schedule for a highway or road project to complete their bid.  The task is one that has been completed in real life by a company on the judging panel.  “Everything on the bid has to be perfect, right down to the envelope that you submit it in.  It is very stressful,” says Dues. 

This year, there were nine teams from all over Ohio including Akron, Bowling Green, Cleveland State, University of Dayton, Ohio State, Ohio University, Ohio Northern and Youngstown State. 

After bids are turned in, the judges score them based on their proposal and schedule.  This year’s judges included representative from companies such as Kokosing Construction Co., The Shelly Co. and The Great Lake Construction Co.

The team described the intensity of the competition with Schweer telling us “It’s a rush to the end.”  Christensen explained that “it is seven hours of straight work and one hour of pulling it all together.” 

Teams are ranked based on their responsiveness, that is, the amount of items that they have accurate in their bid.  “In real life, if you had anything wrong you would not book a job,” Wurzelbacher said. 

Each student had their specialty area of the bid to work on.  Greg focused on the schedule and traffic influence, Tim managed excavation, Adam worked on maintenance of traffic (MOT), Luke dealt with the pike and sewage, Kyle did the bridge work and Mike supervised.  The chemistry between these teammates was obvious, “Tim yells a lot” they joked when discussing the roles that they all played in the bid development. 

While the judges deliberated, the participants are shown what happened in real life with the project. 

UC ranked fifth in the responsive placement and went on to create their presentation for the judges the following day at 10:00 am. 

After their thorough presentation, the judges again deliberated and the Bearcats placed 2nd overall in the competition! 

This team consists of the same members that went to ASC in Chicago in October and blew the competition away in the Heavy Civil Category.  “We had all worked together before so it was easy to do again,” said Lees. 

The competition provided ample opportunity and encouragement for networking through the job fair that OCA hosted.  This allowed for students to meet professionals in their field and get their foot in the door for Co-op work assignments and potential career opportunities.
“We had a lot of support at the competition,” explains Brooks.  “Kate Holden and Mike Prus, CM graduates working for area companies, were like our secondary advisors who helped us prepare for the competition.”

As for the team, Greg will graduate this spring and looks to secure a job with one of the companies he met at the competition.  Mike, Kyle and Tim are looking forward to returning to the OCA competition in their final year and Luke and Adam would gladly join them on yet another winning team.

Learn more about Construction Management at UC-CEAS