The MCAA students in construction management qualified as one of the final four teams to compete at the national Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) convention in Hawaii.

One of the highlights of the student organization is to participate in the annual competition among 60+ student chapters across the nation. Unfortunately the pandemic scuttled plans for this year’s travel adventure.

In the annual competition, the students receive project documentation including drawings and specs for an actual project that is constructed by one of the member companies.

Sherif Attallah, associate professor and mentor of the student team, founded the student chapter shortly after he came to Ball State and took over the mechanical construction courses. His involvement and innovation have led to increased industry involvement and participation in the program from mechanical contractors. As a result, students have become more knowledgeable about opportunities in the mechanical sector.

MCAA annual competition is one of the most rewarding experiences students in the CM program can gain. Challenged with real-life project problems, the students develop a comprehensive project management plan with a level of details that are very similar to professional proposals in the construction industry. 

Sherif Attallah

Teams are asked to come up with a proposal to complete the mechanical scope of work which includes establishing a virtual company, building a project organization team, coming up with a full estimate, providing a detailed schedule, creating a logistics plan, supplying value engineering ideas with system design plans, and other technical and financial deliverables.

The Ball State team spent three months of fall semester working on the proposal and interacting with mechanical contractors and vendors to come up with a realistic proposal addressing all the challenges of the project. The students used the Procore project management system to submit the proposal, RFIs, and to manage project resources.

This year, the students made it to the top four judged teams that scored the highest points. The four teams were invited to the annual national convention of MCAA in Hawaii to present their proposal in front of thousands of representatives of mechanical contractors.

MCAA Team Finalist

Nick Brandon, ’21
Gareth Brouwer, ’21
Ross Debonis, ’21
Michale Delong, ’20
Austin Fest, ’21
Cory Huffman, ’21
Cassie Dorony, ’20

Aloha, Hawaii

Preparations for the final competition began in the spring but the competition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, a monetary prize was shared by Ball State and the three other national finalist teams in honor of their achievements.

MCAA Student Organization

The MCAA student organization has increased exposure of construction management students in the industry by participating in the competition. The result has been a dramatic increase in the number of internships and permanent placements of our students in the mechanical industry.