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Sac State's on a roll in engineering competitions


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Construction Management students Javier Mederos, left, Alyssa Zayas, Neil Devlin and Nick Staykow.

In the media: "Sac State Construction Management team becomes national champs," ENR California

Video playlist on Sacramento State's Construction Management Department

Sacramento State has won a triple crown of sorts in student engineering competitions this fall – with the crowning jewel being Construction Management’s national design-build victory Nov. 6 in Las Vegas.

In October, another Construction Management team topped a regional healthcare preconstruction competition in Chicago, and most recently, a Civil Engineering squad won first place in an area structural-design event held at UC Davis.

Sac State’s engineering program has become a power to be reckoned with throughout the country and is handily beating out high-profile universities.

“These students, their professors and industrial advisors bring tremendous pride and distinction to the entire College of Engineering and Computer Science, and our University,” says Emir José Macari, dean of the college.

In the Las Vegas event, Construction Management students Javier Mederos, Alyssa Zayas, Neil Devlin and Nick Staykow dominated the teams from Auburn University and Colorado State at the finals of the 2013 Design-Build Institute of America’s competition.

The contest had started with 40 teams from throughout the United States, and the top three, including the team of Construction Management students representing Sac State’s DBIA chapter, were invited to the finals.

Sacramento State’s commanding win was based on both a 38-page document and an oral presentation for the design and construction of a five-story residence hall at the College of William and Mary. The students made their oral presentation to a diverse group of upper-level professionals, including builders, engineers and architects.

Just before the victory in Vegas, another Construction Management team had a first-place finish at the 2013 Associated Schools of Construction’s inaugural Healthcare Preconstruction competition in Chicago.

That team, made up of students Zayas (also one of the DBIA champs), Mark Oliveira, Preston Tziouvaras, Kim Braga, Rob Clark and Nate Boyer, went up against seven universities and earned 95 of a possible 100 points. Their nearest competitors were Purdue University (86.8 points) and Auburn University (86.4 points). Their task was to estimate and plan the conversion of a downtown Chicago medical building into a hospital – and to present their plans to the client.

“This was a test and proves that we are a school of national prominence,” says Justin Reginato, a professor in the Department of Construction Management. “We want to be the best Construction Management school in the United States.”

In-Story Graphic

Civil Engineering students Nelson Tejada, left, Kyle Cameron, KB Khan, Leslie Fung and Max Hardy.

Most recently, Sacramento State Civil Engineering students delivered a big win at the 2013 Structural Engineers Association of Central California’s structural-design competition. The testing was held on the UC Davis campus, and the presentation took place Nov. 12 at the monthly meeting of the professional chapter of SEAOCC.

Nelson Tejada, Kyle Cameron, KB Khan, Leslie Fung and Max Hardy built a timber-truss structure and followed up three days later with a presentation to a group of professional engineers, explaining their analysis and design approach.

Sac State’s first place win was its fifth in the last six years. This time, the Civil Engineering team beat out UC Davis, the University of the Pacific and Chico State for the area title. – Dixie Reid