Students within the Department of Engineering Technology and Construction Management are building a bedrock foundation for life after graduation, thanks to a first-place finish in the regional collegiate Construction Management Competition.
Six T-Birds worked as a group against five other universities in the competition hosted on Brigham Young University's campus; SUU took first place in the health care division of the competition.
The weeklong event kicked off with the Salt Lake City based company Layton Construction—who also sponsored the competition—giving all groups a hypothetical to build a medical center meeting certain specifications, schedules and estimates. The SUU cohort focused their efforts on conceptualizing a rehabilitation center and then had just one week to complete a comprehensive building proposal, which consisted of a building schedule, insurance claims, price estimates and a blueprint.
"All six of us were bent over computer screens for that entire week to get the work done. We had to do everything a typical construction manager would do before ground is broken on a building project,” said Cole Wilson, a senior studying construction management from Las Vegas, Nev.
Looking ahead following his team's win, Wilson is happy to have worked so hard. “As a student it can be hard to get experience of what it’s like to go through the process of formulating a construction plan. Having to create our own project plans, and then present them to professionals in the field, do exactly that.”
The competition was judges by construction managers from Layton Construction.
SUU's construction management students have been competing at this annual competition for the last few years, but this is SUU's first year to come out on top, thanks to six talented, hard-working students. In addition to Wilson, the winning group of students included construction management majors Jeff Lister, Ryan Hedstrom, Robert Bonds and Tony Aguirre, as well as architectural design major Zane Hunzeker. Last April, the same team of six took first place at the Associated Schools of Construction regional competition.
“Winning these competitions is one of the best things we can do in our education and for our future,” said Wilson. “It gets us in contact with the leading construction businesses and puts us at the top their hiring lists.”