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Construction students place 2nd in nation

March 10, 2011 12:00AM

Kevin Hunninghake, Chris Grable, Brian Kuhn, Adam Perkins, and Caleb Krier, proved they are some of the best in the U.S. this week at the Mechanical Contractors Association of America convention in Hawaii.

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They have done a wonderful job at every level. You just can’t replicate a group like this that has worked so well together the entire time. "
~ Jim Otter, CMCET chairman
SU student chapter of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America has taken second place for their presentation at the annual MCAA national convention March 7 in Maui, Hawaii.

The team of students was invited to present at the convention after being ranked as one of the top four teams in the country at the MCAA Student Summit in Chicago last October. This week in Hawaii they edged out teams from Colorado State University and the University of Washington. They were only 200ths of a point behind the first-place team from Milwaukee School of Engineering.

"I am so proud of these students," said Shannon Nicklaus, the PSU MCAA adviser who accompanied the team to Hawaii. "They were the most professional presenters and they definitely have assisted in putting PSU on the map once again. They have represented this school in fine fashion."

Their presentation was delivered Monday afternoon to an audience of 500 contractors and MCAA members from across North America, including a panel of judges. The team, which includes Brian Kuhn, Caleb Krier, Adam Perkins, Kevin Hunninghake and Chris Grable, all Construction Management and Construction Engineering Technology (CMCET) majors, arrived in Hawaii late last week and will return to Kansas on Saturday.

For their presentation, the PSU team was challenged to create and present a building plan for a capital investment headquarters building in Palo Alto, Calif. The building, which actually exists there, was a difficult project because it was constructed in such tight, urban quarters that it had to be built offsite in pieces and then put together on the spot.

With only limited information, the team came up with plans for designing, estimating, scheduling and managing the project, while also addressing safety and including environmentally friendly elements. To make the assignment even more challenging, the MCAA judges threw in unexpected twists along the way to make sure the teams could adapt and absorb the extra work.

They repeated this presentation for the Hawaii audience, which included architects and managers of the actual Palo Alto building. The team also attended education sessions for mechanical contractors, and listened to VIP speakers including TV news legend Charles Gibson, basketball veteran Bill Walton, and General Stanley McChrystal.

"The students have been meeting with people, getting business cards and even some job offers from across North America, which is an impressive thing to see," Nicklaus said. "They have all been presented with many opportunities because of this."

Jim Otter, chairman of CMCET, said the team has made the department and the College of Technology incredibly proud.

"They have done a wonderful job at every level. You just can't replicate a group like this that has worked so well together the entire time," Otter said. "We are extremely proud of them."

©2011 Pittsburg State University