Louisiana Tech University estimation team wins first place

Mar 29, 2022 | Engineering and Science, Faculty/Staff, General News, Students

The Louisiana Tech University Heavy/Civil Division Estimating team won first place and the Commercial Construction Division team made its inaugural appearance at the TEXO Construction Association for North and East Texas/Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Region 5 competition in Irving, Texas.

Reginald Jeter, Louisiana Tech Estimating teams faculty sponsor and Program Chair and Professional in Residence for the Construction Engineering Technology program, says that he is impressed with the knowledge and work ethic of both teams.

“I’m very proud of these teams,” Jeter said. “They worked very hard putting the estimates together. It was a long 16-hour day for them. The Heavy/Civil Division team’s bid review showed their knowledge of the project helped them win. They knew how to build the project to estimate it. The Commercial Construction Division team worked equally as hard. Because this was Louisiana Tech’s first year to compete in that division, there was a larger learning curve for this team. I look forward to seeing what both teams accomplish next year.”

For the Heavy/Civil Division, Construction Engineering Technology students Matthew Aguillard (of Prairieville, Louisiana), Benjamin Dew (of Bastrop), Noah Dryden (of Houma), Afrah Khan (of Austin, Texas), Rachel Marang (of Mooringsport), and junior Emily Nolasco (of Forest Hill) estimated the cost of a large-scale civil engineering job and submitted a bid to complete the project just sixteen hours after receiving the job plans from the TEXO/ASC officials. The team submitted equipment selections and a project schedule, along with the estimation including costs for personnel, safety measures and gear, and materials.

“Our classes directly cover everything we need to succeed in this competition,” Dryden said. “From the beginning, we are taught how to read plans, and in our estimating class with Mr. Jeter, we can use those skills to create our takeoffs of the quantities and create a HeavyBid to help determine the cost of the materials and labor. In our scheduling class, we learned how to create a schedule for a project. Mr. Pike’s classes have prepared us for the presentation as in all his classes we have at least three projects we have to present.

“Competing in person again was fun as I feel we were able to work harder as we can see nobody was slacking and I felt we accomplished more than we would have online.”

This is Louisiana Tech’s second first place win in the five years it’s participated in this division.

The Commercial Construction team, Construction Engineering Technology and Civil Engineering students Len Fields, Jr. (of Haynesville), Caroline Bishop (of Natchitoches), Madison Coates (of Farmerville), Lucas Smith (of Cypress, Texas), Jamie Brown (of Monroe, Louisiana), and Abigail Raley (of Monroe) used their experiences in project-based classes within the Construction Engineering Technology and Civil Engineering programs to effectively research bids, brief the group, and answer difficult questions with confidence.

Fields says that although the quick turnaround for the project was unlike anything the team had done before, he feels their coursework helped them understand how to prepare a bid for a commercial project.

“Honestly, I don’t believe anything could have fully prepared us for the competition. However, being able to take an independent study/experimental class surrounding commercial construction—bolstered by Mr. Jeter and taught by two recent Tech grads [2018 and 2019 Construction Engineering Technology alumni Kevin Paxton and Andrew Reames]—really gave all of us the knowledge and confidence to make it as far as we did. I am very proud of our team and felt really blessed and thankful that we were given such an unforgettable opportunity.”

“Throughout the course, students learned about the complete construction process of a commercial project through two Construction Engineering alumni with CDI Contractors,” Bishop added. “In the class, we learned about projects, completed assignments such as preparing bids and performing takeoffs, and visited local and on-campus construction sites. My peers and I look forward to the continuation of the course in Spring 2022 with [2019] Construction Engineering Technology alumnus Garret Titus of Lincoln Builders. With this being the first year Louisiana Tech has competed in the estimating competition, I am incredibly proud of our team’s competitive bid and look forward to next year.”

Both teams completed and submitted their estimates in the Construction Engineering Technology capstone room in Bogard Hall at Louisiana Tech’s Ruston campus. They then traveled to Irving to make their presentations and defend their bids to a series of judges, including professionals from TEXO and the ASC, as well as competition sponsor Austin Bridge and Road.

Teams were scored in several categories, including Questions and Answers, Estimate Quality, Bid Submittal Compliance and Estimate Review, and Demonstration of Overall Comprehension.

After the presentation, members from both teams networked with companies from around the area and attended an awards banquet.

“These students got the job descriptions, worked together to build bids, and put new processes in place within sixteen hours, then developed presentations, drove to Irving, and defended their bids the next day. Their ability to create a working bid so quickly shows the quality of students at Louisiana Tech,” Jeter said.