Construction Management Students Win 1st Place in Reno Competition

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Each February, BYU construction management students travel to Reno to compete in the Associated Schools of Construction Student Competition.

This was a year to remember as a group of six students won first place in the Building Information Modeling competition, one of the 18 events at regional ASC competition.

[easyembed field=”Photogallery”]“I thought we would get third place, and when they announced third place I was like ok, let’s go home, we lost,” Stephen Hopkins, a team member said.  “Then they announced first place and we all jumped out of our chairs because we were so excited.”

Trevor Ralph, another construction management student on the trip described the announcement, “I was in the room, and I was thinking are we going to place this year because the team last year was really good, and then the judges announced ‘we’ve saw this team went above and beyond, and that team is BYU Provo’. We were all really stoked,” Ralph said.

BYU was represented in seven other competitions during the ASC event, including preconstruction services, determining project risk, concrete solutions, heavy civil, commercial, mixed use and design build in addition to BIM.

The BIM team, lead by student captain Matt Palmer, were among tough competitors including University of Florida, USC, Arizona State and Auburn. Each team was presented a problem from a specific company that sponsors the event, and had all day to solve. The next day, teams presented their solutions to the judges. In this specific competition, BIM gives construction workers and managers the ability to virtualize the building.

“Our division was about construction technology,” Palmer said. “Basically we created a three-dimensional model using software and then we estimated the cost of the building based on the geometry of the model and we scheduled how long it would take to build it.”

Last year, the BIM team placed third, and according to Hopkins, it made the competition more difficult with no previous members.

“It’s a tough competition especially because we didn’t have anything to go off of and no returning members from last year so we were starting from scratch,” he said.

This trip was a good showing for not only BYU, but the construction management major itself. Palmer and Hopkins explained how their major is more focused on computer software, which will make them more efficient in the workforce. BIM is focused heavily in the classroom, and played a major role in their success in Reno and in future careers because there is a market for this type of business management and technology.

“The typical position of a construction management major graduate would be to sit in a job trailer and manage the finances of the project and deal with conflicts with sub contractors,” Palmer said.

However, there is one thing construction management students want to make clear: their major does not include a hard hat and hammer.

“It’s not like what a lot of people think, that we’re out there swinging a hammer,” Hopkins said. “We use technology and use computers to make us more effective.”

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