Cal Poly Construction Management Students Place Second in International Competition
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Two Cal Poly construction management students recently took second place in the fifth annual Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Region 8 International Student Competition. Kelly Williams and Carlye Cunningham were challenged to assume the role of contractor in the refurbishment of a 114-year-old building in Liverpool, England.
Eleven teams from 11 universities, representing four countries, gathered Nov. 10 at Liverpool John Moores University to create solutions to the competition prompt. Williams, of Los Gatos (near San Jose), and Cunningham, of Laguna Hills in Orange County, competed in a joint team, partnered with two students from the Czech Technical University in Prague.
The teams were pressed to develop a plan for a six-story hotel tenant improvement project. They worked for seven hours to produce a presentation and deliverables such as cost and schedule estimating for a panel of industry experts from Balfour Beatty, BAM Construct, Lovell, Russell’s Construction, and private consultants. Following the initial presentation, the judges deliberated and called back the top four teams for a question-and-answer session about the project.
“The 20-minute interview portion was a great experience in thinking through difficult questions and answering on the spot in front of a crowd,” Williams said. “To prepare, we studied examples of management systems from various construction companies and had frequent Skype meetings with our teammates from Prague to exchange research findings and discuss strategy.”
Cal Poly’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design has a memorandum of understanding with Czech Technical University that encourages collaboration between students from both universities. By teaming up with two students from Prague, Williams and Cunningham became familiar with European standards of construction, said Cal Poly Professor Lonny Simonian, the team’s faculty advisor.
“The competition is unique compared to other ASC regions in that it connects construction students from all over the world and challenges them to adapt to the differences in construction practices,” Simonian said. “These experiences provide an opportunity for our students to understand international construction terminology and project delivery. This competition gave these students an important chance to practice presentation and collaboration skills that they will use in their future careers.
“Our Construction Management Department offers summer classes in Prague,” he added, “and both of these winning students intend to broaden their international knowledge in the summer 2018 program.”
ASC provides opportunities every year to benefit construction students by developing challenges that push students to collaborate and produce innovative solutions. The professional association is committed to enabling the advancement of construction education and sharing ideas in international construction practices. Region 8 is the international home of ASC.
For more information about Cal Poly’s Construction Management Department, visit http://www.construction.calpoly.edu.
From left to right are Kelly Williams and Carlye Cunningham of Cal Poly’s second-place team at the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Region 8, International Student Competition, along with their competition partners Jakub Smoleň and Jakub Leško from Czech Technical University in Prague.
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