Originally published March 6, 2011

A team of architectural engineering and construction management students from Milwaukee School of Engineering won the Preconstruction National Championship at the 24th annual Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Student Competition held Feb. 16-19 in Sparks, Nev.  Congratulations to team members Josh Halvorsen, West Dundee, Ill.; Brian Jacoby, Milwaukee; Joe Lodde, West Allis, Wis.; Matt Olsen, Algonquin, Ill.; Chris Reininger, Fenton, Mo.; and Alex Schmude, New London, Wis.

A second team of architectural engineering and construction management students took second place in the Building Information Modeling (BIM) competition. It was MSOE’s first time competing in this event. Team members are: Jake Bolda, Winneconne, Wis.; Jake Lathers, West Bend, Wis.; Mark Peterson, Burlington, Wis.; Ben Turk, Minooka, Ill.; Josh Wilsmann, Fond du Lac, Wis.; and Jake Wurtz, Janesville, Wis.

Since entering the competition in 1999, MSOE has had 16 top three places in national student competitions and seven national championship teams. No other university in the country has experienced the consistent level of success demonstrated by MSOE.

To win, MSOE competed against several universities, including Arizona State University, Auburn University, Boise State University, Brigham Young University, CSU-Chico, Colorado State University, Cal Poly, San Louis Obispo, University of Florida and University of Southern California.

This year’s preconstruction problem was sponsored by PCL Construction Inc. Students were challenged to prepare a preconstruction proposal for $38 million Rady School of Management project at University of California, San Diego. MSOE students’ cost estimate was only $8,000 less than PCL’s original estimate and two weeks shorter than PCL’s as-built schedule. PCL Construction judging panels commented on the completeness and consistent excellence of the MSOE students.

The BIM competition team developed a BIM proposal for California Memorial Stadium at Berkeley, Calif. The team developed 3D models from given 2D drawings, design deficiency control, clash detection, 4D simulation, and model-based estimating. The judging panels from Webcor Builders said the MSOE team displayed the highest model quality and is the only team that completed all of the proposal requirements.   

Dr. Jeong Woo and Blake Wentz, assistant professors in MSOE’s Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management Department, coached the preconstruction team. Dr. Woo coached the BIM team. AGC of Wisconsin, Gilbane Building Co., Grunau Co., Kiewit Power, McCarthy Building Co., Nordic PCL Construction Services, Turner Construction Company, VJS Construction Services and Walsh Construction Co. provided generous financial support which allowed MSOE students to compete in the national competition this year. Kendall McWilliams, J.P. Cullen & Sons; Matt Riemer, Gilbane Inc.; Jamie Spartz, C.D. Smith Construction Services; and Brant Holeman, X-nth, supported the competition teams as industry advisors.

MSOE is an independent university with 2,600 students. MSOE offers 18 bachelor’s degrees and 10 master’s degrees in the engineering, engineering technology, building and infrastructure engineering, computer, business, nursing and health-related fields. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; and extremely high placement rates and starting salaries. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.