ROCKVILLE, MD—The Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Inc. (MCAA) is pleased to announce the four finalist teams that will make oral presentations of their written bid proposals during the next phase of the 2013-2014 Student Chapter Competition. The teams are from the:
·         MCA of Metro Washington Student Chapter at University of Maryland-College Park, a participant in several previous competitions;
·         MCAA Student Chapter at Milwaukee School of Engineering, the winner of last year’s competition and the 2010-2011 competition;
·         Student Chapter of Specialty Contracting (Mechanical/Electrical) at Southern Polytechnic State University, a finalist in last year’s competition and the winner of the 2011-2012 competition; and
·         Sacramento State Chapter of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, which took second place in the 2011-2012 competition and was a participant in 2012-2013.
 
The competition’s next phase will take place March 11 at MCAA 2014, the association’s annual convention, which this year focuses on Exceed Expectations. The convention will run from March 9–13 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona.
 
A panel of judges convened on January 9 to read, discuss, and score the written proposals submitted by 24 MCAA student chapters from across the U.S. and in Canada. In addition to the four finalists, proposals were submitted by:
·         California State Polytechnic University at Pomona;
·         California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo;
·         California State University, Chico;
·         Central Washington University;
·         Colorado State University;
·         Fairleigh Dickinson University;
·         Illinois State University;
·         Iowa State University;
·         Kansas State University;
·         Kent State University;
·         McMaster University;
·         Northeastern University;
·         Northern Kentucky University;
·         Oregon State University;
·         Pittsburg State University;
·         Purdue University;
·         University of Nebraska-Lincoln;
·         University of Washington
·         University of Wisconsin-Stout; and
·         Wentworth Institute of Technology.
 
Seven of these teams will receive Certificates of Merit for their work on the competition proposal. They are from the: Colorado State University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, McMaster University, Northeastern University, Oregon State University, University of Washington and the Wentworth Institute of Technology.
 
Judges Kenneth A. Durr of Durr Mechanical Construction, Inc. (New York, NY), John Powell of Lawson Mechanical Contractors (San Leandro, CA) and J. L. Williams of Ryan & Associates, Inc. (Davenport, IA) evaluated and scored each written proposal’s overall quality, project management and organization, feasibility of construction and program schedules and accuracy/feasibility of conceptual costs.
 
The oral presentations will be evaluated by a different panel of judges based on: overall quality of the oral presentation; feasibility of project management, organization and schedule; accuracy and completeness of project costs; and answers to the judges’ questions.
 
Each finalist team will have 20 minutes to convince the judges that they are best qualified to perform the proposed work on the project—15 minutes for a formal oral presentation, and 5 minutes responding to the judges’ questions. Each team’s standing will be determined based on a combination of their oral and written scores.
 
This year’s competition project, hosted by Kathleen McCauley of McCauley Mechanical Construction, Inc. (Bridgeview, IL), involved the partial retrofit of a food processing plant outside of Chicago, IL.  In addition to the technical challenges of an actual project, students faced significant changes in the administration of this year’s competition.  For the first time, chapter teams obtained all the project information from a file-sharing website called Basecamp.  And, rather than copying and shipping their final proposal to MCAA, chapters uploaded their bids onto the site, saving them time and costs. 
 
Finalists will compete for a $5,000 first-place prize. The second-place team will receive $2,500, and each of the other teams will receive $1,000. All finalists will also take home a handsome trophy commemorating their achievement.
 
For more information about this year’s competition, please contact Ann Mattheis at amattheis@mcaa.org.