UAA construction management teams secure second and third place wins at national competition

UAA Construction management students secured a second and third place win at this year's national Associated Schools of Construction Competition.
UAA construction management students secured a second and third place win
at this year's national Associated Schools of Construction Competition.
UAA construction management students may have entered this year’s Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Competition feeling as if they faced overwhelming odds, but they soon proved they were up to the challenge when they seized a second and third place win.

"Our success came from our ability to work together as a team," said UAA student Nathan Yaskell, captain of the commercial project team. "We all supported each other and helped one another when we needed it. We focused on practicing and preparing for the competition months in advance which is what made these wins so rewarding."

The ASC is a professional association focused on the development and advancement of construction education. Each February it hosts the annual ASC Competition, a grueling three-day event in which student teams must respond to a real-world request for proposal for a large commercial or public project.

The commercial team finished in second place. Back row from L to R: John Maguire, Zacharias Quam, Jacob Craig, David Freswick II, Jeff Wilson, Industry Coach Front row L to R: Don Tipton, Faculty Coach, Nathan Yaskell, Ryan Honea
The commercial team finished in second place. Back row
from L to R: John Maguire, Zacharias Quam, Jacob Craig,
David Freswick II, Jeff Wilson, Industry Coach
Front row L to R: Don Tipton, Faculty Coach,
Nathan Yaskell, Ryan Honea.
Projects are generated by construction management companies who are competition sponsors and were awarded the contracts in real life. Student teams must put their estimating, scheduling and proposal skills to use to produce a set of deliverables in a compressed 16-hour time frame that would typically take a contractor or construction management firm a couple of weeks to prepare.

This year’s competition held in Sparks, Nevada, attracted 182 teams from 46 universities, totaling more than 1,300 student participants. UAA competed in the commercial and heavy civil categories, the event’s top two competitions. Thanks to generous donations from community members and corporations in the construction industry, this is the first year UAA sent a second team to compete. For the last nine years, UAA teams have competed in the commercial category, taking home a second place win in 2009 and a first place win in 2011.

The heavy civil team finished in third place. Back row from L to R: Chase Swalling, Erin Dickson, Conor Nicoll, Jeff Wilson, Industry Coach. Front row L to R: Don Tipton, Faculty Coach, Brett Smith, Rodolfo Vaquera, Jake Henkel.
The heavy civil team finished in third place. Back row from
L to R: Chase Swalling, Erin Dickson, Conor Nicoll,
Jeff Wilson, Industry Coach.
Front row L to R: Don Tipton, Faculty Coach,
Brett Smith, Rodolfo Vaquera, Jake Henkel.
"We're really proud of our students," said Don Tipton, assistant professor of construction management and the team’s faculty coach. "To say the competition is fierce is an understatement. Our teams competed against 11 of the top construction management programs in the country including Colorado State, Brigham Young, Northern Arizona, Air Force Academy, Boise State and Arizona State. This is truly a tale of David versus Goliath – simply amazing!"

Tipton added that many other construction management programs are much larger than UAA’s and may receive as many as 60 applicants for a team’s six primary and two alternate spots. In comparison, the entire UAA program is about 80 students which makes it challenging to recruit 16 students for the two teams. He noted that some other schools have construction management classes specifically designed for the ASC Competition and even offer credit for competition participation.

"Our students faced a lot of challenges many of the other schools don’t have," Tipton said. "They had to raise $23,000 to make this trip a reality. Without the support of Alaska’s construction industry, we couldn’t have competed, and the students would have missed out on an unparalleled training opportunity to bring to the workforce."

The 2016 UAA Construction Management student competitors would like to thank the following individuals and companies whose generous contributions made participation in this year’s ASC Competition possible:

AACEI Alaska Section
AJ Bear Piekarski
Anchorage Sand and Gravel
Carberry Assoc
Construction Industry Progress Fund
Donald Ketner and Dorene Lukas
Dowland-Bach
Edge Survey and Design
Frawner Corporation
GCI
Global CPT
Granite Construction Company
Green Earth Landworks
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302
Jacob T. Henkel
Knik Construction
Neeser Construction
Northern Geotechnical Engineering
Olgoonik Specialty Contractors
Pita Pit
PND Engineers
Point MacKenzie Construction & Management
Spenard Builders Supply
The Superior Group
Swalling Construction
Tamie and Paul Taylor
TS Construction

Story by Kirstin Olmstead, CTC Communications Coordinator with Don Tipton, Assistant Professor of Construction Management
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UAA construction management teams secure second and third place wins at national competition
UAA construction management teams secure second and third place wins at national competition
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