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Student team wins first in construction management

Back Row: Joel Palmer, left, and John Heffernan (alternate). Front Row: Jonathan Osman, Noah Martin, Nicole Johnson, Erika Wier, Ryan Garris and Jason Peschel (coach).
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University construction management students won first place in the Associated Schools of Construction regional competition Feb. 6-9 in Sparks, Nev. There is no national competition.
According to the judges, the commercial team was “absolutely dominant” and the “stand-out winner by a wide margin,” said Jason Peschel, faculty team advisor and assistant professor in the WSU School of Design and Construction. The team earned second place in 2012.
One of five WSU groups participating, the commercial team topped 13 schools from California, Hawaii and Washington. A second WSU team, coached by professor David Gunderson, earned third place in the design-build category.
The ASC contest is the largest construction management competition in the U.S., with participation from approximately 1,200 students from 42 universities in 18 states.
The commercial team had less than 24 hours to develop a proposal for a real-life problem posed by the industry sponsor, Hensel Phelps Construction Co. Students employed a variety of construction management skills – scheduling, estimating, site logistics, site safety and technical writing – gave a formal presentation and participated in a question and answer session.
In the design-build category, sponsored by Swinerton Inc., WSU architecture and construction management students developed a schematic design, estimate, schedule and evaluation of their project and then made a formal presentation.
WSU students also competed in the mixed use and heavy-civil categories for the region, as well as the integrated project category in the open division, which included teams from throughout the U.S.
“We are very proud of all the teams and continue to be impressed with the amount of work they put into preparing for this event,’’ said Max Kirk, program coordinator in the school. “I know that placing in any category is difficult – and winning is monumental.’’

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