UC Construction Management Students Continue Triumphant Tradition

Students at the University of Cincinnati's Construction Student Association finished second at one of the largest national competitions in the construction industry, the

Associated Builders and Contractors Construction Management Competition

in Orlando, Florida, this month.

The team placed second overall while being named the association's 2017 Student Chapter of the Year. This is the second time in three years UC's chapter has won this award after taking home the prize in 2015.  The award comes with a $2,000 prize as well as a trip for two students to attend the trade group's legislative conference in Washington, D.C., in June of 2018.

UC's team is comprised of the

College of Engineering and Applied Science's

Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management

Construction Management Program students Nick Smith (project manager), Austin Schultz (estimator), Clayton Plute (superintendent), Drew Orris (safety & quality control), William Molle (alternate) and Brian (Kade) Miller, (alternate). Alternates assisted other team members in their roles and also were responsible for 3-D and 4-D modelling of the project using various software tools. The team was coached by Amanda Albrecht, assistant professor-educator and program director of UC's construction management. She also serves as the team's faculty advisor.

Additionally, the competition team placed second in following subcategories: safety, estimating and project management and scheduling.

"There were a lot of long days and late nights leading up to the competition, but in the end it definitely proved worth it," student Nick Smith, the team's project manager, said. "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 on campus for two months on the competition's first step, in which they had to prepare an estimate, schedule, project management plan, safety plan and quality-control plan for a request for proposal, as if they were a construction company preparing a bid. Upon arriving at the conference, they competed in the second stage, which entailed adjusting their response to the request for proposal to account for a variety of surprise changes that were given to them over a five-hour period. One-third of teams were chosen to continue to the third step, the oral presentations. The model for the project this year was a hotel currently under construction at Universal Studios – right across the street from the competition.

“The team put an incredible amount of effort into their proposal, working diligently prior to the event," said Elliott Ice, UC CSA president and civil engineering senior. "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.”