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Civil engineering student gains hands on experience in construction competition

Ohio University student Braden Lloyd took part in a unique national competition over the summer to explore his passion for the construction industry and gain valuable experience.

The third-year civil engineering student joined a team of students representing colleges and universities from around the nation at the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Construction Institute Student Days. During the Aug. 4-8 competition, his team was asked to develop a proposal for a real project – the Denver Airport Concourse Expansion.

“Hands-on experience was everywhere you looked in this competition. We were given a plan set and had to make a proposal from ‘our company’ to the owners of the project,” Lloyd said. “We handled the estimating and quantity take-offs, scheduling, local and federal policies, and then delivered our final proposal in a presentation to the owner panel. It was a real project being built at the Denver International Airport.”

Lloyd explained that his team spent a weekend of strategic planning before delivering an estimate, schedule and presentation to a panel of judges about their project proposal.

“My team and I received the request for proposal (RFP) at 10 p.m. on Friday night and our final proposal was due Monday morning at 11 a.m. We were given the plan set and the scope of work to be completed and it was off to work at that point. We started by working as a team to complete the take-offs. We then proceeded to split up work into completing the estimate, scheduling and proposal writing. Each component brought challenges and an opportunity to learn,” Lloyd said.  

Lloyd has long aspired to join the construction industry. As a self-proclaimed ‘people person,’ he leveraged the networking opportunities available at the competition, spoke with industry professionals and gained key insights into what the industry will be like for him after he graduates. Additionally, he had the chance to work with a team of like-minded students, giving him additional insights into the future of his professional career.  

While he was career-minded during this trip, he also had the opportunity to enjoy his time in Denver alongside his teammates.  

“We all bonded and worked as a team like we had been together for 20 years even though we had just met. There were laughs, tears, frustration and joy all in a short time during the weekend with memories for a lifetime, like going to Red Rocks at 5 a.m. to watch the sunrise,” Lloyd said.  

As the team’s captain, Lloyd thought it was extremely rewarding to watch his team grow and bond, which was only one of the highlights of this experiential learning opportunity. From touring the Denver International Airport, experimenting with new project management software, networking with the industry's top professionals and placing third overall in the competition, Lloyd gained a better understanding of what it meant to be a professional in the construction industry. 

“The only way to learn is to get out in the real world, make mistakes, learn from them and better yourself to help lead the world in a positive direction,” Lloyd said.  

August 29, 2023
Chloe Musick