Each spring, Lemberg works with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Student Chapter at Milwaukee School of Engineering to guide students through a competitive challenge. This year, the group participated in the 2017 Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Student Competition held in Sparks, NV, in February.
Electrical professionals from Lemberg's service group, including Senior Manager Don Rossbach and service managers Tim Hagen and Gerry Maier, met with a team of six engineering students and their adviser, Christine Brotz, Civil and Architectural Engineering & Construction Management instructor at MSOE in the fall of 2016 to begin planning for the competition. The six MSOE students have majors in construction management or architecture with an emphasis in electrical systems.
The competition was an immersive, three-day experience in which students were given a mock construction scenario from a number of areas including electrical contracting. Professionals from Lemberg's electrical service team provided guidance to the students throughout the project.
"The idea is to give the students as close to a real-life situation as possible," said Tim Hagen, service manager at Lemberg.
According to Brotz, the team represented their final solution well, despite not placing. The competition draws teams from ASC-affiliated engineering schools across the country. The students had access to a career fair and networking events during their time in Sparks. Accompanying faculty were offered break-out sessions on subjects relevant to education for the construction industry.
"This experience is important because it puts the design engineering students in touch with the construction side of the process," said Brotz. "It is complementary to their studies. Working directly with the electricians, estimators and project managers from Lemberg gives the students the depth and breadth of the electrical construction industry."
The MSOE team was challenged to design-build, from the ground up, a mixed use college dormitory to be built in San Jose, California. Participating teams entered the project in its final stage of design, prior to construction. The electrical problem, sponsored by Cupertino Electric, exposed students to the intricacies of electrical contracting and to the career paths within the field, and introduced students to the types of day-to-day tasks that a project team might face during a construction project.
Students worked on their approach to the problem and the presentation of planning items such as designs, estimates, and scope review. THey had roughly 15 hours to complete the tasks.
"The students had to produce an estimate, construction plan and schedule," said Brotz. "They were given change orders to price and asked for value engineering solutions."
Teams were judged on their ability to address deliverables, respond to changes, and explain their decisions to the expert judges panel. Monetary prizes were distributed to winning teams and are generally used to support future school programming.
Lemberg is a member of NECA, the premier professional organization for electrical contractors.
Learn about the 2016 Green Energy Challenge.
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