UC Engineering Students Sweep ASC Construction Competitions

Five student teams from the

University of Cincinnati

College of Engineering and Applied Science

(CEAS)

Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management

, Construction Management, Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering programs kicked off the fall semester by traveling to Chicago, Illinois, to compete in four competitions at the

Associated Schools of Construction

Region 3 Conference. During the weekend-long event, students competed in various tracks depending on their aptitude and individual interests, including commercial construction, heavy civil construction, project solutions and electrical.

UC’s participation in the event is coordinated by the Construction Student Association and its sister organization, the Construction Competition Club. During the contest, students were given problem statements in the morning and had 18 hours to complete written proposals. The following morning, teams presented their projects.

This year marked the first event in which CEAS sent two teams to compete in the heavy civil construction competition with one team comprised of male students and one team comprised of female students. UC is the defending champion in this competition five years running. And this year, the CEAS all-women heavy civil team won first place—making both UC and ASC history. The all-men team won second place in a UC sweep.

The heavy civil all-women team included captain Kearstin O’Mara, Kitty DiFalco, Morgan Daugherty, Taylor Bonifant, Jesi Hosmer and Brianna Karelin. The heavy civil all-men team included co-captains Charles Bowman and Travis Warrner, Joe Kaufman, Sheamus Togher, Michael Hrovat, and Ben Bruns.

“Our team spent several weeks prior to the ASC competition researching, discussing individual responsibilities and preparing for whatever we could,” winner O'Mara said.

“We went into the competition with a ‘we are already winners no matter what’ attitude (being the first all women team to enter the competition). But being able to take home first place really showed that we should have never underestimated our abilities. We felt this could really be a moment women in the construction industry can look back on and say to themselves: ‘This career is for women, too.’”

CEAS placed second in the project solutions competition. The team included captain Nate Holbert, Andrew Hall, Brandon Hicks, Sydney King, Mike Wise and Christopher Mueller. Wise also won an award (a sledgehammer) for exhibiting leadership and teamwork during the team’s presentation.

For the third-consecutive year, CEAS placed in both the commercial construction and electrical competitions. The commercial construction team placed third and included members Richie Markwell, team captain, Elliott Ice, Sam Fintel, Michael Salzler, Matt Hudak and Blake Brower. The electrical competition team also placed third and included members Noah Berg, team captain, Nicholas Smith, Jake Yavorsky, Kody Snyder, Conner Mesker and Daniel Holstein.

This fall, the ASC also launched a new workshop event entirely for sophomore students, which was sponsored by Kiewit Construction and the National Electrical Contractors Association. CEAS had three sophomores participate in this “sophomore summit” event: Craig Lair, Drew Ratterman and Phillip Stoll.

UC Assistant Professor Mandy Albrecht advised both heavy civil teams and the commercial construction team. UC Assistant Professor Jason Mack served as advisor for the electrical team while Assistant Professor Abhijeet Deshpande advised the project solutions team.

Albrecht said UC's strong showing at the competition demonstrates the strength of UC’s construction management program and gives students the chance to showcase their skills to potential future employers.

“I attribute much of our strong performance in these competitions to the strength of our co-op program. These competitions are designed to simulate real-life situations, which many of our students have already lived through, to some degree, in their co-op experiences,” she said.