2022-2023 Student Chapter Competition

April 13, 2023
Pictured: Andrew Palcan (Career Development Committee Chair), Michael Marinakis, Zach Hutchings, Graham Hudelson, Gianni Piccini, Hunter Helmer, Aiden Wolownik, Shannon Nicklaus (Faculty Advisor), and Robert Bolton (MCAA President)

At the MCAA23 Awards of Excellence Breakfast on March 29th, Pittsburg State University was awarded the top prize of $10,000 and a trophy for their outstanding work on the 2022-2023 Student Chapter Competition.

Pittsburg State Sponsoring Local Affiliate: MCA of Kansas City
• Stacy Zerr – Executive Director
• Jacki Conn – Deputy Executive Director
• Bob Looman – Executive Director Emeritus

Faculty Advisor
• Shannon Nicklaus

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo was the runner-up, placing second and received a trophy and check for $5,000. 

Fairleigh Dickinson University and McMaster University rounded out the final four. Both of these Honorable Mention finalists received trophies and $2,500 checks.

Six teams (out of the 22 chapter submissions) were recognized with Merit Trophies and checks for $1,000. They are, in alphabetical order: 

  • Ball State University
  • Kent State University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Washington
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology

The project involved a proposal for the construction of the mechanical and plumbing systems at the new district energy facility on the National Western Campus in Denver, CO.  The scope of the project included the installation of three 1000-ton cooling towers, six 6,000-mbh boilers, a SHARC sewer heat recovery system, plate and frame heat exchangers, pumps, piping, and supporting infrastructure.  The project is currently the largest sewer heat recovery system in North America.

The students were asked to craft a proposal response to an RFP that included a fictitious company structure, values, project organization chart, financial information, project backlog, bonding capacity, a detailed estimate with a complete Bill of Materials, a detailed construction plan and schedule, safety and quality control plans, BIM capabilities, and a service and maintenance agreement.

Thank you to the following companies for their special contributions to the project:

• U.S. Engineering Construction (supplying the project)
          – Sarabeth Gandara – Project Introduction
          – John Marlow – What Really Happened
• Procore (use of their Project Management software)
• Trimble (use of Trimble Estimation MEP software)
• Ferguson (providing pricing for pipe values and fittings)

MCAA Career Development Committee – Judges:

• Vincent Eckerson, Arista Air Conditioning Corporation
• Sarabeth Gandara, U.S. Engineering Construction
• Scott Hinton, Harrell-Fish, Inc.
• Matthew Miller, Binsky & Snyder
• Michael Russo, Fresh Meadow Mechanical Corporation
• Kurt Voss, Integrated Facility Services
• John Ziemann, Mollenberg-Betz, Inc.

Thank you as well to the Chair of the Career Development Committee, Andrew Palcan, Helm Group, for serving as the emcee for the live competition in Phoenix!

The MCAA Career Development Committee is currently hard at work planning for the 2023-2024 project.  The next project will be announced this fall and a Q&A session is already on the schedule for the GreatFutures Forum in Milwaukee (September 28 –30). Registration for the full conference is complimentary for MCAA contractor members and includes the GreatFutures Job Fair on Friday morning.  See you there!

Most Valuable Presenter

The Career Development Committee recognized a student who did the best job presenting their proposal, whether or not their team won.  The audience members voted live between schools and ultimately Braden Deck of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo was awarded a trophy, a $500 gift card, a complimentary seat in MCAA’s Preparatory Institute for Project Management, and the title of 2022-2023 Most Valuable Presenter. 

Braden is majoring in construction management at CalPoly and anticipating a May 2024 graduation. 

CalPoly Sponsoring Local Affiliate: Northern California MCA
• Alex Hall – Executive Vice President
• Mike Stirling – Director of Member Relations

Faculty Advisors
• Joe Cleary
• Paul Redden

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