Estimating team wins regional competition

Mar 26, 2024 | Engineering and Science, Students

Louisiana Tech University’s estimation team won first place in the Heavy Civil Division at the TEXO Foundation and Associated Schools of Construction Region 5 Student Competition, and team leader Gabriel Lipe won second place for his presentation skills.

Competing against the best and brightest students from construction programs in the South, the team of construction engineering students Drake Black, Connor Branch, Skylar Belt, Zaria Jones, Francisca Gutierrez, and Lipe used programmable software known as ProCore, mathematics, and skills they learned in Tech’s construction engineering technology classes to calculate the cost of a construction project.

They then traveled from Ruston to Hurst, Texas, with team advisor and Construction Engineering Technology Program Chair Reginald Jeter. There, they met with the company that estimated and built the project to defend their results and answer judges’ questions.

Lipe, who is also president of the Associated General Contractors/North American Society of Trenchless Technology, said internships, part-time jobs, and their Tech classes helped them prepare for their estimate bid.

“I think all our experiences outside the classrooms, especially previous internships and part-time jobs helped us understand everything that was being asked of us,” Lipe said. “Every member has also been through Mr. Jeter’s estimating class, which provided us with many of the skills necessary to compete. Without Mr. Jeter, so much of what we accomplished as construction engineering technology majors would not have been possible, so having the opportunity to pay him back just a little bit by winning this competition was fulfilling.”

Lipe says the most difficult portion of the competition was the scheduling and communication aspects of the challenge, particularly since everything had to be turned around within an 18-hour window.

“We overcame this challenge by assigning everyone a specific job to complete,” he added. “This ensured that we covered all our bases and would not miss anything.”

The team’s success shows that, at Louisiana Tech, the practical application and communication of STEM skills are as critical as the skills themselves.

This story was written by communications student Daniel Young.