Construction, interior design students excel in design-build competition

Monday, November 26, 2018
Written by: Susan Leavens

Photo L-R: DBIA Chairman William G. Hasbrook Jr., Construction Professor/Program Manager Dr. Tan Qu; Seminole State team members Jeffrey Stout, Michael Miller, Megan Tan, Tiffany Theodore and Elena Peraud; and DBIA Executive Director Lisa Washington.

Students from the construction and interior design programs at Seminole State College of Florida placed third in the Design-Build Institute of America’s (DBIA) National Design-Build Student Competition, following a first-place finish in the Southeast Region. 

Seminole State School of Engineering, Design and Construction students Michael Miller, Elena Peraud, Jeffrey Stout, Megan Tan and Tiffany Theodore, along with faculty advisor Dr. Tan Qu, comprised one of 36 teams from 27 colleges and universities nationwide that began the competition on the regional level. The team finished first in the Southeast Region, outperforming teams from University of Florida, Auburn and Southern Mississippi.

This fall, the Seminole State team worked for several weeks at the Heathrow Campus to develop and design a fictitious two- to three-story resident hall on an American college campus that demonstrates design-build best practices and utilizes skills from each student’s discipline to create a facility that is functional and aesthetically pleasing.

“The DBIA annual competition is one of the most comprehensive and intensive student competitions in the country,” said Dr. Qu. “Our team faced tough competition and delivered a stellar performance. It is not only a reflection of our student achievements but also of the dedication and quality teaching provided by the faculty at Seminole State.”

After its first-place finish, the team was selected to compete in the second phase of the competition and then advanced to the national level in New Orleans at the Design-Build Conference & Expo. At the conference, the team presented their design-build proposal and design concept to a jury and audience of industry professionals. The competition provided students with first-hand experience with a rising industry trend and DBIA’s mission of teaching the effective integration of design and construction services to ensure success for business owners and design and construction practitioners.

With only a few points separating the top three teams, the Seminole State team finished third behind the winning team from Iowa State University and the second-place team from the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Team Captain Tiffany Theodore was proud of how her peers, from different disciplines came together to work collaboratively for the design and construction of a real-life scenario. “We learned through this amazing opportunity to support each other’s different backgrounds of education with one common goal in mind – to see what we were made of and how far we could go!”

About the School of Engineering, Design and Construction

Seminole State College of Florida's School of Engineering, Design and Construction offers more than 50 degrees and certificates, including bachelor's degrees in construction, engineering technology, information systems technology and interior design. The programs prepare students for a wide variety of careers in the built environment and information technology.