FIU construction management team wins national student competition

Annual Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Competition tests students’ essential project leadership skills

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From left to right: Lorenzo Artola, Stephen Valdes and Jorge Mejia, all FIU Moss Department of Construction Management team members, sport “high fives” after winning all five categories at the annual Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Competition.

FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) construction management student team has won the 2020 Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Construction Management Competition (CMC), beating out 25 other undergraduate teams from colleges and universities across the country. This is the fourth time FIU’s construction management team has won the prestigious competition in the last eight years.

The ABC Construction Management Competition (CMC) is a hallmark competition that promotes careers in construction management. The competition is designed to challenge construction knowledge, organization, time management, and presentation skills.

Held virtually for the first time over an extended seven-month period because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the national competition hosted more than two-dozen teams comprised of four members each. Each team was tested based on five categories of essential project management skills: overall performance, cost estimating, project management, and safety and quality control. The FIU Moss Department of Construction Management team took first place in overall performance, cost estimating and project management. The team also ranked in the top three for safety and quality control.

“These students worked tirelessly to showcase their award-wining project management skills,” said John L. Volakis, dean of FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing. “I couldn’t be prouder of our faculty, our exceptional students and all they were able to accomplish at this important annual competition.”


The annual competition gives the nation’s top construction management undergraduate students a glimpse into the real world of construction. This year’s project focused on the construction of a new federal courthouse for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, which required the students to plan demolition, construction and site development.

“Our team is grateful to professor Ayman Morad for trusting us to represent FIU at this incredible competition,” said Stephen Valdes, a senior and member of the winning construction management team. “Our hard work and commitment helped us overcome the challenges we faced this year, allowing us to ultimately win the competition. We hope that we made FIU proud. Go Panthers!”

All participants are active members of the ABC National Student Chapter Network, which connects local ABC chapters to colleges and universities with construction management programs to work toward the ultimate goal of building the talent pipeline and mentoring future leaders of the construction industry.

“The Construction Management Competition is a great opportunity for our future construction industry leaders to test their skills in real-time,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC’s vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development. “Designed to challenge construction knowledge, organization, time management and presentation skills, every competitor showed diligence, tenacity and teamwork. We’re excited about the contributions these students will soon make to our industry.”


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