Building Science students win international competition

Building Science students win international competition

The annual highlight of the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Region 8, is the International Student Competition, which was held November 17–18, 2016, at the University of Reading (UR), England. Of the nine student teams from the United States and Europe that participated, two groups of senior students from the McWhorter School of Building Science finished first and second in the competition.

A joint team coached by Professor Wes Collins, which included Auburn’s Nick Chaplow and Reed Spencer along with Matt Roberts and Jack Tyson from Birmingham City University, won first place in the competition. Professor Angela Kilby of BCU was co-coach.

The second joint team coached by Professor Eric Wetzel involved Brody Keel and Randy Morris from Auburn and James Cairns and Chris Bennett from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). Professor Fiona Borthwick was the co-coach from LJMU.

The competition was based on one of University of Reading’s recent infrastructure investments and focused primarily on scheduling and cost control. This year’s real-life project was from Multiplex, a global contracting and development company. The project used for the competition was a student housing project on the UR campus called the “Bridges Hall Redevelopment.”

“I would attribute the win to the hard work put in by the students to fully understand the project at hand, the development of a winning strategy, and the opportunity we had to visit with contractors in the UK prior to the competition,” said Collins. “Although construction work is similar between the United States and UK, there are some distinct differences that are important to understand when participating in an international competition. Gaining this understanding was a big help. Auburn has been successful in this competition, with a first place finish two years ago, a second place finish last year, and first and second place finishes this year,” he added. The ASC is the professional association for the development and advancement of construction education, where the sharing of ideas and knowledge inspires, guides and promotes excellence in curricula, teaching, research and service.

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Wesley Collins