Construction programs students and faculty from The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction brought home plenty of awards from recent Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) competitions and conferences - one on another continent and the other only a few miles from campus.
At the North Central Region 4 annual conference and 27th annual Construction Management Student Competition Oct. 27-30 at Lied Lodge in Nebraska City,
Matthew Barrows and Brandon Kreiling, assistant professors of practice in the construction programs, each were honored with the ASC Regional Teaching Award. Barrows’ nomination has been forwarded to be considered for the ASC National Teaching Award.
Barrows and Kreiling said the awards are validation of the work and work ethic of the students in the Durham School.
"The ASC competitions were something when Brandon and I were hired on three years ago that we wanted to get involved in, and we have put forth the effort to get our students and UNL and the Durham School recognized," Barrows said. "It was great to be nominated for our awards, but it was awesome to see the students succeed."
"It's been a learning experience for both of us," Kreiling said. "We've all put in a lot of hard work, and this is the third year in a row that we've won the Heavy Highway/Civil competition. That validates all the work the students put in and it shows the quality of our programs."
Students used real construction documents from projects that have already been or are currently under construction. The overall intent was to place students in “real life” project management situations. In an 18-hour period, they had to schedule, estimate, run cost analyses, and resolve several management issues that arose during the project planning phase.
A panel of judges from industry reviewed and graded the team proposals that were prepared by the students. Those proposals included the team’s plans for managing and constructing the project. Students were asked to prepare and present their proposed ideas to the panel of judges. In order to facilitate such an environment, the judging panels were comprised of representatives from all facets of the construction industry.
In the Region 4 competition, four Nebraska student teams earned first or second place in four of the five divisions:
Commercial 1 (new construction), second place – Tyler Farley, James Killen, Kiel Kruse, Cooper Netsch, Anthony Sacco, and Brady Standage. Coach: Matthew Barrows.
Commercial 2 (renovation/addition), first place – Jake Battenhorst, Austin Campbell, Ryan Cook, Eric Hayward, Brad Hurtz, and William Semerad. Coach: Matthew Barrows.
Heavy Highway, first place – Jack Bourne, Christian Chilton, Hala Fadhil, Garrett Giesler, Jose Lopez Flores, and Matt McMahon. Coach: Brandon Kreiling.
Design-Build, second place – Eric Adame, Zach Barnhill, Nick Gaffney, Dakota Mohlman, John Pupkes, and Alexis Wilson. Coach: Phil Barutha.
The competition included 28 teams and 168 students from 10 of the 16 universities that make up the seven-state region.
Other events at the conference included the Midyear Meeting and Career Fair.
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Barrows and four students - Zach Barnhill, Brad Hurtz, John Pupkes and Brady Standage traveled to Manchester, England, for the ASC International Region 8 competition and conference.
After a 21-hour trip and fighting a bit of jet lag, the Nebraska team took second in the Quantity Surveying/Construction Management competition against teams from across Europe and Asia and from a few universities in the United States, including Auburn and California Polytechnic.
"We left Nebraska on Tuesday afternoon and landed there late Wednesday. Then, we had to compete on Thursday and make a presentation on Friday. It didn't leave us much time to relax," Barrows said. "We did get to visit the Manchester Christmas Market and a couple museums on Saturday and we ate some proper fish and chips. But getting to meet our colleagues and fellow students from around the world was the most important part of this trip."
Barrows will return to England in April 2020 when the ASC International Conference is held in Liverpool. It is there the ASC National Teaching Award will be presented to one of the finalists.
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