ISU engineering students take part in construction competition

Laura Kennedy

ISU construction engineering students won two championship titles and a third place title at the Associated Schools of Construction regional competition held recently in Nebraska.Edward Minchin, assistant professor of civil and construction engineering, said there were 11 schools across the country competing in the 8th annual regional competition. He said he coached the ISU teams along with Cynthia Patterson, graduate student in civil and construction engineering.The regional competition is composed of three separate divisions including design/build construction, commercial construction and heavy/highway construction, Minchin said. He said the teams consisted of five students and an alternate for each division.ISU students in the design/build and commercial teams received championship titles, and a third place title was awarded to the heavy/highway construction team, Minchin said.”We are the defending national champions in design build,” he said.Minchin said the teams are assigned a problem by the judges, and they then create a proposal. The projects which the teams construct had already been administered and built by construction companies.The teams had 16 hours to finalize and complete their proposal before it needed to be handed in, he said.”Competition is very vigorous,” Minchin said.David Flemmer, member of the design/build construction team, said the work involved in the competition was tough.”It was very stressful to get [the proposal] finished in time,” said Flemmer, senior in construction engineering.After the students give presentations to the judges after they have viewed the proposals, Minchin said.The students from Iowa State did extremely well during their presentations to the judges, he said.”Our students were easily the most polished,” Minchin said.Because of the classes the team members had taken prior to the competition, they were fully prepared to complete their tasks, he said.”Every class in our curriculum lets students gain experience through their presentations,” Minchin said.Next, he said the students in the design/build and commercial construction teams will represent Iowa State at the national competition in Nashville, Tennessee this month.Flemmer said North Dakota State will most likely be one of Iowa State’s top competitors at the national competition.”We are looking forward to nationals, and we are looking at winning,” he said.Adam Pfab, member of the commercial construction team, said he was pleased with the titles they received because it reflects well on the university and also the department of construction engineering.Pfab, senior in construction engineering, also said he is optimistic for the upcoming competition.”It will be a tough competition, but hopefully we will come out on top,” Pfab said.