Nicholas Allen, David Copperman, Trip Heaverly, Barb Jackson, Nick Anastasi, Chase Baron, Eric Rymarz and Joe Hanlin.

If you were building a 46-story high-rise in downtown San Francisco and your construction project was behind schedule and $11 million over budget, what would you do?

Five graduate students in the Master of Science in the Built Environment program at Daniels had 18 hours to come up with a plan and present their findings in a 30-minute meeting. It was part of the Associated Schools of Construction student competition held in Sparks, Nevada, Feb. 6-9.

The Daniels team took third place, competing against 13 teams from across the country. They beat out teams from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; University of Southern California; University of California, Berkeley; Auburn University; University of Oklahoma and Colorado State University.

“There’s nothing like it really. The ASC student competitions is like the Olympic Games in construction management education,” said Barb Jackson, director of Daniels’ Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management. “Every major commercial construction company is there with teams of scouts looking to interview the best and the brightest from these teams. To place third in the highly competitive Integrated Project category is amazing for DU.”

Eric Rymarz is one of the MS students who has competed in the challenge for three years.

“It’s a fantastic experience,” he said. “The competition offers a lot of real-world experience in a short amount of time.”

Rymarz and his teammates Nicholas Allen, David Copperman, Trip Heaverly, Nick Anastasi and Chase Baron, were given a list of issues and a complete set of construction documents from which to work with. The issues represented constructability, schedule, budget, design and logistical challenges. They had 18 hours to produce a document to address all of them to the owner’s satisfaction, and conduct a meeting with Clark Construction, the project sponsor, the following day.

“The competition was extremely intense given the difficulty of the challenge and short amount of time allowed, but our team developed a strong sense of camaraderie as we tackled each problem,” Allen said. “I learned a great deal more about various construction issues, as well as effective planning and teamwork in a high-stress environment. Additionally, the networking opportunities following the competition were great. I would recommend to anyone, as long as they’re prepared for the challenge.”

Prof Daniel Trujillo, Ian Buie, Jake Rosencranz, Ryan Bell, Brooks Boss, Alex Munzel, Drew Scott, Prof Eric Holt.

“I am so proud of our students and how well they performed and look forward to competing again next year,” Jackson said. “Because the Integrated Project competition represents the most advanced approach to project delivery, it is in complete alignment with our focus at the Burns School with our new Integrated Project Delivery advanced curriculum.”

Doug Peterson

hese five students aren’t the only ones to walk away winners.

The undergraduate Burns students took fourth place in the Mixed-Use competition. They are Ian Buie, Jake Rosencranz, Ryan Bell, Brooks Boss, Alex Munzel and Drew Scott.

The Burns School also took four alternate students to fill in as needed and to gain exposure for next year’s competition. Alternate Doug Peterson won the alternate competition.