Commercial team first place winners. (L-R, front row): Molly Mahoney, Shaaki Shaik, Sarah Robinson and Jaeden Biehn. (L-R, back row): Logan Prouse, Nathan Vani (alternate), Garrett Nelson (alternate), Cameron Stout and Jason Peschel (coach).
A student team from the Washington State University construction management program earned first place in the recent Associated Schools of Construction student competition, the largest construction management competition in the U.S.
The team won first place in the Commercial category competing against 17 other teams from schools in California, Oregon and Washington.
More than 1,600 students from 57 universities and 24 states participated in the competition, which was held in Sparks, Nev. The competition required that students solve complex problems in less than 24 hours, present proposals and participate in a rigorous question and answer session in a business-like setting. WSU construction management, architecture, construction engineering and civil engineering students participated.
The WSU team was coached by Jason Peschel, associate professor and interim director of the School of Design and Construction, and sponsored by Howard S. Wright Construction. For the competition, sponsored by Hensel Phelps, the students used construction management skills such as scheduling, estimating, site logistics, site safety and technical writing to develop a proposal for a real-life construction problem. The student team included Sarah Robinson, Cameron Stout, Jaeden Biehn, Logan Prouse, Shaaki Shaik and Molly Mahoney, with alternates Nathan Vani and Garrett Nelson.
"This is the fifth time in the last decade the WSU commercial team has won first place," said Peschel, "and, incredibly, it's the third year in a row that the team has made the podium with a first-place win. Given the strong competition, this accomplishment is a remarkable statement about the strength of the program and the students. It's difficult to put into words just how proud I am of these students."
WSU also had teams competing in the Design Build and Heavy Civil categories. The teams were multidisciplinary with architecture and construction management students on the Design Build team and students from construction management, construction engineering and civil engineering making up the Heavy Civil team.
"These teams worked hard and invested an incredible amount of time in preparation for the competition," said Peschel, "and though they may not have placed, they did a wonderful job exhibiting what they've learned while representing WSU."
Several industry partners, including Exxel Pacific, Howard S. Wright, Mortenson, Graham, GLY and Holland Construction provided financial support and/or practice problems for the WSU student teams in preparation for the competition.
"We are very grateful for the industry support that we have here at WSU," said Peschel. "Our students are fortunate to get such great experience and opportunities to develop skills that will bring them success in careers. As always, Go Cougs."
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