Construction Management students shine in annual competitions

Students from Colorado State University’s Department of Construction Management participated in annual national and regional competitions early in the 2023 spring semester. CM fielded teams at the regional Colorado Contractors Association student competition, February 3, in Denver, Colorado; and the 36th Annual Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) student competition, Regions 6 and 7, February 8-11, in Sparks, Nevada. CM will also be competing at the national Roofing Alliance Student Competition at the National Roofing Contractors Association’s 136th Convention and International Roofing Expo, March 6-9, in Dallas Texas. And CM students will compete at the Associated Builders and Contractors student competition, March 15-17, in Orlando, Florida.

Colorado Contractors Association student competition – CM maintains first place position

Heavy Civil teams from Colorado universities competed by preparing mock proposals that were submitted and judged prior to the CCA conference. The teams then presented their proposals and fielded questions from a panel of judges in front of conference attendees during one of the afternoon conference work sessions.

4 students, 3 male, 1 female holding 1st place trophy and individual 1st place plaques
CM CCA Aggie Builders Team-1st Place

These heavy civil teams competed for scholarship awards, exposure to the heavy civil/infrastructure community, and of course bragging rights. This event affords hiring managers the opportunity to meet some of the best talent in the state.

In 2020, the CM CCA Ram Team won first place in the competition. Then, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the competition was suspended in 2021. Last year, the CM CCA team placed first and maintained the CSU CM department winning streak. This year was no exception. CM’s student team took first again. The Aggie Builders Team was composed of: Lyle Bottoms, Zach Young, Collin Berry, and Clare Finnegan.

Four CM teams place in ASC competition

CSU CM students at the ASC team competitions, about 50+ standing on staircase for photoThe CM department sent close to 70 students and faculty coaches to the ASC event, which brought together nearly 1,600 students on 218 teams representing 58 universities. CM students showcased their knowledge, creativity and presentation skills, fielding teams in nine categories: Commercial, Concrete Solutions, Design Build, Heavy Civil, Integrated Project, Mechanical, Mixed Use, Preconstruction, and Sustainable Building.

CM’s Mixed Use team earned first place honors. Team members include (front row l-r): Megan Grissom, Max Fisher, R J Ordonez-Smith; (back row l-r): Liam Redin, Zac Schmanski, Joe Bernardy, Jacob Schmidley, Corey Davis.

CM Mixed Use team of 6 male student members and 2 females student members. Male captain of team holding trophy, middle back.
Mixed Use Team-1st Place

The mixed use problem sponsor was Layton Construction with a mixed use/commercial construction project for multi-use development including public amenity, residential, and retail spaces.

Each team was to respond to the various requirements and be judged as a cohesive unit, as they submitted the deliverables and presented in a formal review before a panel of industry professionals.

CM professor and faculty coach for the Mixed Use Team, John Killingsworth said, “This was the first time in CSU history that our Mixed Use team placed first in the category. We had one team member recognize the incredible talent of our alternate – and gave up his seat on the competing team, so that the team could be stronger. That sort of selfless approach is what made the difference this year. The judges indicated that the first and second place were only separated by 3/10ths of a point.”

“Winning first place in the ASC Region 6 mixed use competition was a life changing experience and one of the best memories of my college career,” said Mixed Use Team captain, Joe Bernardy. “The success of this year’s team would not have been possible without the unconditional support from the CM Department of faculty/staff/coaches, generous industry partners in preparation, and the endless hard work and dedication from the entire team throughout the year. As a team, we cannot begin to thank CSU and ASC enough for providing us this great opportunity, and I look forward to witnessing continued success from our Rams in the many years to come!”

Additionally, three other CM teams placed in the top three in their respective categories:

CM Preconstruction team with male faculty coach, center back holding jersey that says second; 4 student male members and 2 student female members
Preconstruction Team-2nd Place

2nd Place – CM Preconstruction Team  (front row l-r): Carson Jeffrey, Carson Gibler, Anastasia Sanchez, Kendall Peterson; (back row l-r): Evan Prestwich, CM faculty coach- Chad Olivier, Evan Willis.

Industry sponsors surrounding CM Concrete Team with 1 faculty coach, 5 males students and 1 female students holding 2nd place individual trophies
Concrete Team-2nd Place

2nd Place – CM Concrete Team with several industry sponsors (front row l-r): Chase Jones, Dylan Hughes, Chelsea Bidgood, Sean Markert; (back row l-r, with trophies): Collin Berry, CM faculty coach-Todd Fantz, Joseph Begue.

7 member team with male faculty coach, 5 female students and 1 male student holding 3rd place trophy
Commercial Team-3rd Place

3rd Place – CM Commercial Team: (front row l-r) – Margot Jessen-Hegelbach, BrookLynn Burlingame, Toby Mielke, Lesley Munson; (back row l-r) – Holly Hutcheson, CM faculty coach-Brett Brown, Makenzie Adams.

Of the overall competition experience, CM student Margot Jessen-Hegelbach, Commercial Team, said, “The ASC Competition experience is life changing. You push yourself to your individual limits but work as a team. The preparation, the teamwork, and the commitment are worth every bit of effort.”

“I would say the ASC competition is an incredible learning experience, especially with how it applies to the world of construction,” said CM student, Sean Markert, who was a member of the Concrete Team that took 2nd place. “Everything we did at the competition was fast-paced, depended on effective communication, and relied on how we presented ourselves. Then after the competition, there were too many opportunities to network – from the career fair, to running into company representatives at lunch, to the CSU meet and greet – it was impossible not to make connections. Beyond this, hearing how companies solved the problems differed from our solution, which was fascinating and got me excited to start my career in construction.”

CM instructor and Commercial Team faculty coach, Brett Brown, has a unique perspective: “These competitions are such an awesome and unique experience for the students. I have had the opportunity to participate in the competitions as a student, as well as an industry member. To now be able to coach the students from the faculty side is a wonderful experience. As students, we lose track of a lot of our college experiences; this is one students will hold for a long time.”

The Department of Construction Management is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.