A team from Toronto has won the fifth annual Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) Global Student Challenge (GSC) competition, facing a fiercely competitive international field. The Stalwart Construction Group, as they named themselves, from George Brown College, are the first Canadian team to make the finals. They collected their award from CIOB President Chris Soffe at his inaugural dinner, in one of his first official acts as President earlier this month.
The winning team receives £2,000 in prize money, along with access to a unique mentoring programme, with industry leaders offering advice and guidance to support their professional development.
The final this year saw a number of familiar faces. Breaking the streak of Glasgow Caledonian University, after three victories in a row, the UK contingent still put on a good show. A Cambridge University team, Cambridge University Revolutionary Building, came second for the second year in a row. The team from Loughborough University came third, placing strongly in the final for the second year in a row.
The other finalists were Sense4 from Chongqing University (China), Profiteer Projects from Curtin University (Australia) and Trojan Corporation (RMIT University, Australia).
The CIOB’s annual Global Student Challenge, which is open to full time students, is said to be a real test of construction industry know-how, taking place in stages over a number of months. The competition provides a realistic simulation where teams, made up of three or four people, act as a board of directors running their own company.
There’s a “Foundation Years” stage which takes place five months before the finals. This is where participants learn how to play the game, running a virtual construction company in a simulated environment using the MERIT software, testing out different strategies and refining tactics for the competitive game.
The “Early Years” stage starts a few weeks later and teams play competitively with others across the globe, making decisions that influence the success of their companies.
More than 60 teams from universities all over the world entered the 2018 competition, with the six teams scoring the most in the early rounds being invited to the finals in Toronto as part of the CIOB’s annual Member’s Forum.
Mike Lino, one of the three winners as part of the Stalwart Construction Group team, said: “The GSC tests the participants in many ways; it isn’t just a matter of who has the best excel sheets. It comes down to planning, how the teams work together under pressure and which teams can best mitigate their errors – because errors are inevitable.
Despite our planning, we still had decisions that required the group’s collaboration. These moments require everyone to vocalize the issues and possible solutions effectively and efficiently so a quick decision can be made.”
Chris Soffe, President of the CIOB, said: “The CIOB’s Global Student Challenge is all about pushing the strategic, financial and management skills of construction students to the limit. I have to say that this year’s finalists more than met the challenges presented to them and impressed me greatly with their talent and commitment, as this is not a process for the faint hearted. It’s an excellent sign that the future of construction industry management is in good hands.
I’m also pleased to hear that all three members of the winning team, the Stalwart Construction Group, have already secured employment in the field, with contracting and construction companies. I wish them all the very best as they take on the future in this exciting industry.”
Entry for the 2019 challenge will open later this year. To find out more about Global Student Challenge, visit the CIOB web site: http://gsc.ciob.org