April 12, 2006

Construction management team
earns a top honor in national competition

After capturing first place in regional competition, Sacramento State’s team of construction management students last week finished second in a national competition in Dallas against some of the top universities in the country.

And it was the first time that a team from Sacramento State had even qualified for the national Associated Schools of Construction competition, in which students take plans and specifications, and create a professional “bid” for a project.

“The competition was very stiff, and Sac State held its ground,” said Mikael Anderson, assistant professor of civil engineering and the coach to the team.

Members of the Sacramento State team included students Mike Frey, Gareth Figgess, Quinn Hofmann, Joe Chretien, Jaime Cochran and Ben Carrington.

The students were honored for work that involved estimating the cost for a new bridge, retaining wall, road work and drainage basins in Palm Springs, an actual project of the competition’s sponsor, Granite Construction. The University of Cincinnati took first place.

In the competition, a team is given a project to carry out under an extremely tight deadline. At 6 a.m. on the day of the competition, the team gets a complete set of plans and specifications, a bid worksheet, labor and equipment rates for the project. The students have 16 hours to develop their solutions, methods, planning and costs for a successful bid to proceed with the project.

Anderson said a key to the team’s success was its strong background with estimating heavy civil engineering projects involving grading, underground and paving work. “The students performed quite well, even increasing their overall competition score significantly from the regional competition last February,” he said.

Sac State’s team received support from the Sacramento Construction Management Education Foundation, which serves as the construction management program’s advisory board, Granite Construction, Kiewit Construction, DeSilva Gates Construction, Syblon Reid Construction, Western Engineering, and Associated General Contractors, and Terrence McNamara of CC Myers Construction.

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