Tarleton construction science team takes fifth at Las Vegas competition


STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University’s construction science and management team captured fifth place in the 2020 International Builders’ Show (IBS) Construction Management Competition in Las Vegas last weekend.

Forty university teams from across the United States and the Caribbean participated as part of the annual IBS conference, with more than 75,000 builders, subcontractors, suppliers, manufacturers, business owners, students and faculty attending from all over the world.

The team submitted a project design and site development, project estimate and schedule, marketing analysis, and risk and financial breakdown for an adult-age-restricted residential community in Utah. The team worked on the project for 3½ months and defended before a panel of judges at the IBS convention Jan. 20-23.

“It was a great learning experience for me because of the detail that goes into designing a community and managing a project overall,” said Tarleton team member Hayden Brown, who won the event’s Outstanding Student Award. “I learned how to overcome challenges and think critically on the fly to solve problems, and developed team building skills. These are critical components of becoming a successful project manager in the workforce.”

The team, comprised of Brown, Michael Pilato, Christopher Sauer, Dakota Boll and Larry Popkess, was led by faculty mentor Dr. Orlando Bagcal.

“The student competition provides an opportunity for the students to showcase their learned knowledge and skills in construction management as well as to apply critical and analytical thinking in solving real-world problems. We can tell that our program is at par with other well-known and top-caliber universities offering construction management,” Bagcal said.

Helping guide a team toward a common goal was key for team members.

“The competition was a great team experience that taught me to better manage the coordination of efforts to create an exceptional project proposal. This will better prepare me for the future by showing me that great products can be made when the entire team is on task and believes in what they are doing,” Boll said.

Tarleton’s team beat out large universities such as Oklahoma University, Penn State, Clemson, Louisiana State, California Polytechnic, Purdue and Florida.

“The competition had challenges that are always involved with working with a team,” Popkess said. “But overall it expanded my knowledge of the industry and how to operate in the business world.”

Tarleton’s construction science and management program, delivered on the Stephenville campus, is the fastest growing program in the university’s School of Engineering.


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