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Students take 1st place at construction management competition

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A Washington State University student team took first place in the recent Associated Schools of Construction competition, the largest construction management competition in the U.S.

Despite impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and a virtual format, almost 1,100 students from 47 universities and 19 states participated. The competition requires that students solve two rounds of problems in two, ten-hour days that included virtual meetings with the problem sponsor.

A WSU team, coached by Jason Peschel, scholarly associate professor in the School of Design and Construction and sponsored by Howard S. Wright Construction, won first place in the commercial category competing against 12 other teams.  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 Meghan Smith, Hunter Hohman, Kali Saueressig, Cory Condon, Austin Cornell, and Georgia Robinson with alternates Grace Lium and RJ Clemons. The competition was sponsored by Hensel Phelps Construction Co.

“This is the third time in the last decade the WSU commercial team has won first place at the competition,” said Peschel. “There is such strong competition that having a team place is a wonderful statement about the strength of the program, the coaches, and the students.  To see a team overcome all of the challenges associated with performing collaboratively in a virtual environment is amazing. We are so proud of this team’s ability to adapt to the pandemic-related constraints!”

Top row: Cory Condon, Meghan Smith, Hunter Hohman, Grace Lium (alternate)
Bottom row: Austin Cornell, Kali Saueressig, Georgia Robinson, RJ Clemons (alternate), and Jason Peschel (coach)

Several industry partners, including Exxel Pacific, Howard S. Wright, Mortenson, Swinerton, and Absher provided financial support, workshops, and/or practice problems for both WSU teams that participated in the competition.

“We are extremely thankful for the fantastic industry support that we have here at WSU,” Peschel said. “The practice problem sponsors completely reimagined the problems in an effort to emulate the two-day format.  Our students are fortunate to get such amazing preparation for the competition. They are gaining invaluable skills and experiences that will bring them success in their careers.”

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