In 2014, The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress formed a partnership with three of the country’s top schools of construction management: Colorado State University; Fort Collins; Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; and University of Florida, Gainesville.
The mission of this partnership is to enhance students’ experiences by exposing them academically and experientially to roofing as a career choice. The universities have agreed to incorporate more roofing-specific information and case studies into existing curricula; provide scholarships for construction management students and faculty; and develop industry internship programs with roofing contracting companies, manufacturers and distributors.
Upon the recommendation of three faculty members from each university, the Alliance sponsored its first student competition to expose students to roofing in a more hands-on manner. Alliance members developed a competition designed to challenge the students’ roofing knowledge, construction management skills, time management, and organizational and presentation skills.
The teams consisted of four students from each of the three schools. Each team was presented with a problem statement; to bid on installing a roof system on a Bass Pro Shop Sportsman’s Center. Each team had to research the project, review the plans and specifications, and assemble a full estimate and proposal to submit a qualified bid package.
Teams were instructed to strive to find a competitive edge in their estimates to beat their competition while still maintaining a reasonable margin.
Written proposals and all supporting documents from each team were submitted Feb. 16. The second part of the competition, an oral presentation took place Feb. 24, 2015, at NRCA’s 128th Annual Convention and the 2015 International Roofing Expo® in New Orleans. Each team had a maximum of 15 minutes to summarize its proposal and management concepts. Judges then conducted a brief question-and-answer period following each presentation. The successful team solution was based on the team’s understanding of the project, realistic construction schedule and man loading, financial proposal, proposed team and presentation.
The winning team was from the Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University. Team members Tyler Eberhardt, Eric Erickson, Sean Howell (team captain), and Chris Lierheimer received their school and individual team trophies at NRCA’s Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception on Wednesday, Feb. 25. In addition to the trophies, the team received a $1,000 cash prize for its school.
The McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University team consisted of Brandon Dykes (team captain), Miles Duncan, Trent Kuehnert and Jim Johnson.
The M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida, Gainesville team consisted of Chris Nichols (team captain), Tyler Lowe, Eddie San Juan and Nick Loewenthal.