Students from Colorado State University Pueblo’s construction management program took first place in the Heavy Civil Region 6 category of the Associated School of Construction competition in Sparks, Nev., on February 10-13.

For more than 30 years, colleges from all over the country have competed in the construction competition attended by nearly 1,000 professionals from major construction and engineering firms. More than 1,300 students from 46 schools competed in 17 categories, including heavy civil, commercial, mechanical and electrical.

Twelve colleges competed in the prestigious Heavy Civil Region 6 category, including Colorado State University Pueblo, Colorado State University Fort Collins, Utah Valley University, Arizona State University, University of Alaska, Boise State, Montana Tech, Montana State, Weber State, Colorado Mesa, New Mexico State and Northern Arizona University.  

In addition to the Heavy Civil Team, the University took a team that competed in the Sustainable Construction and Alternates categories. Jordan Becker, a sophomore in civil engineering technology from Colorado Springs, took third in the alternates competition.

Heavy civil teams were given instructions, plans and specifications at 6 a.m. in order to formulate a responsive bid, risk analysis and time schedule projection for the possible expansion of runways into the ocean of the Kodiak airport in Alaska.

Faced with a 24-hour turnaround, the team navigated its way through the complicated scope of work, as well as the proposed adverse conditions of completing construction operations in Alaska. The next morning at 6 a.m., the team presented its bid to panel of judges from Kiewit, the company sponsoring the project.

According to faculty coach Daniel Trujillo, the CSU Pueblo team was up against 10 Division I schools and just one other Division II school. Boise State took second place, with the University of Alaska coming in third.

“This is the third year our students have competed at this conference, so to win was unbelievable,” Trujillo said. “Our group was focused and intense from the time we left last year’s competition. We are definitely on the map now with the industry and the other schools because of this team’s efforts.”

The winning Competing Construction Management and Civil Engineering Technology Team included:

  • Eli McKinney, team captain, a senior civil engineering technology major from Elizabeth.
  • Allen Emmons, a senior civil engineering technology major from Placerville, Calif.
  • Brandon Houser, a senior construction management major from Pueblo West.
  • Sam Elliott, a senior construction management major from Pueblo.
  • Trent Schaelling, a junior construction management major from Colorado Springs.
  • Zach Stultz, a junior civil engineering technology major from Colorado Springs.