The Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Inc. (MCAA) has announced the four finalist teams that will make oral presentations of their written bid proposals during the next phase of the 2012-2013 Student Chapter Competition. The teams are from the Mmilwaukee School of Engineering, Southern Polytechnic State University, the University of Washington, and Northeaster University.

The competition’s next phase will take place March 19 at MCAA 2013, the association’s annual convention, which this year focuses on Unconventional Thinking: The Essential Ingredient of Success. The convention will run from March 17–21 at the JW Marriott Hill Country in San Antonio, Texas.

A panel of judges convened on January 9 to read, discuss, and score the written proposals submitted by 25 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 at San Luis Obispo
  • California State University at Sacramento
  • Central Washington University
  • California State University at Chico
  • Colorado State University
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Illinois State University
  • Iowa State University
  • McMaster University
  • Northern Kentucky University
  • Oregon State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Pittsburg State University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Maryland-College Park
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • University of Wisconsin-Stout
  • Washington State University
  • Weber State University
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Six of these teams will receive Certificates of Merit for their work on the competition proposal. They are from the: Wentworth Institute of Technology, Colorado State University, California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, McMaster University, Illinois State University, and   Central Washington University.

The judges — John Powell of Marelich Mechanical Company, Inc. (Hayward, CA), Matthew Miller of Irvin Bob Miller, Inc., Long Branch, NJ, J. L. Williams of Ryan & Associates, Inc., Davenport, IA and Kathleen McCauley of McCauley Mechanical Construction, Inc., Bridgeview, IL — 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 according to the following criteria: 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 involved a 50,000-sq.ft. building that houses the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Space Exploration Center. The facility is located near Cape Canaveral, Florida, and bidders were required to recommend design elements that meet or exceed LEED Platinum criteria. The project also required that the bids include a post-construction service component.

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.