Construction management students take home honors in competition


Graphic by Elizabeth Castillo

Bridget Comito

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly named the Integrated Project Delivery category. It has been corrected.

Chico State construction management students brought home several awards in a regional construction management competition this year.

Students took home first and two second place awards in competitions for the Associated Schools of Construction. This annual competition includes competitors from states such as Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and New Mexico. Over 46 universities participated while 13,000 students attended and represented their schools.

Chris Brainerd, a senior construction management major and captain of the Integrated Project Delivery team was a member of the team that placed second for design build and beat a graduate program.

“We really wanted to take pride of the school that we are in, Chico, and really represent Chico in a way. A lot of schools look down at our program,” Brainerd said. “And at the end of the day, we ended up beating them. We’re the underdogs.”

The four-day event in Reno challenged students to solve real construction problems. Chico State had nine different teams participate in the competition.

It takes a full year to prepare for the event. Each student team had 18 hours to solve real construction problems that have been dealt with in the past.

Matthew Hall.jpg
Matthew Hall was the captain of the Heavy Civil team in the competition. Photo credit: Bridget Comito

Matthew Hall, senior construction management major and captain of the Heavy Civil team received second place.

“I would say we have one of the top construction management departments in the nation,” Hall said.

Chico State took home first place for the Commercial competition, while winning second place in the Heavy Civil category and the Integrated Project Delivery category. The department took home a cash prize.

Nick Mencarini was the team captain for the commercial competition. Photo credit: Bridget Comito

The last day of the event was a huge career fair for the students. Over 100 companies attend the fair and students are offered jobs or internships.

Nick Mencarini, junior construction management major, was the team captain for the Commercial competition. His team won first place this year. He said the competition helps give him an edge when seeking employment.

“You’re presenting to the top companies in the nation. My entire team got internships and job offers,” Mencarini said. “You are looked at as the upper percentile of construction management students when you do these competitions. And when you win, you look even better.”

Teams are already preparing for next year’s competition. Some students who are leaving this semester come back to help and prepare the new students for the competition.

“My hope is that they will reach out to me after I’m gone and have my company schedule something and help mentor them,” Hall said.

Bridget Comito can be reached at [email protected] or @bcineg1992 on Twitter.