Students in UB AGC place second in ASC regional competitions

Four individuals presenting as male stand side by side embracing eachother. Two of them hold an oversized check and another holds a trophy.

UB's Association of General Contractors club teamed up with the club from Clarkson University to take second place in the Associated Schools of Construction Region 1 Competition. Photo: UB AGC

By Justin Huang

Published February 6, 2024

From November 9-11, four students from the revamped Association of General Contractors club (AGC) representing the University at Buffalo earned second place in the 34th Annual Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Region 1 Competition. The event, held in Albany, drew sponsorship from various construction companies.

“The best way to learn something new is to jump in. ”
Elliot Angus, Co-president
UB Association of General Contractors Club

AGC student members partnered with students from Clarkson University to tackle Baker Concrete Construction’s open problem. The task entailed creating a proposal and presentation outlining safety guidelines and site logistics for constructing a hypothetical multi–use high–rise building.

Initially, AGC representatives weren’t even supposed to compete, and instead only observe and learn from the competition. “We had zero preparation for the conference, unlike all the other universities who had spent months preparing for this competition,” says BS civil engineering student and AGC co-president Cade Patchell.

However, an administrator from another university eventually convinced them to give it a shot.

Drafting a solution to the problem with such little preparation time was no easy task. The students from the AGC and Clarkson University powered through with their effective teamwork and problem-solving abilities. The open problem presented many challenges, such as having the construction location adjacent to another construction project in a congested urban area. Members of the AGC club utilized the skills they learned from the engineering, communications, and project management–focused courses to succeed.

“The best way to learn something new is to jump in. Think of a baby in water, where their only survival instinct is to spin and kick to the surface to breathe,” says AGC co-president Elliot Angus. “Eventually, the baby comes up to the surface and takes a gasp of air in success. In this case, we were that baby, and boy did we swim.”

The experiences of the AGC team at the Region 1 ASC competition fortified their weaknesses and broadened the team’s capabilities. Well prepared for their next challenge at the ASC Region 6 and 7 Conference in Reno, NV, the AGC is determined to excel again.

UB’s club was initially developed in 1990. After years of inactivity, the club was resurrected in 2019 by another civil engineering student, Mustafa Shakoor. Shakoor and others worked to increase the club’s membership, and participated in some events before the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic hit. UB’s AGC student chapter was resurrected again in fall 2023 with the goal of linking academia and the construction industry. To gain exposure, club members began learning from guest speakers, touring plants and factories, and connecting with professionals.