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University of Florida takes home gold in this year’s student competition

Roofing Alliance Construction Management Student Competition first place team shares their experience during the 2024 contest.

The Roofing Alliance celebrated their 10th anniversary Construction Management Student Competition this year at the International Roofing Expo® (IRE) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each year, Roofing Alliance leaders select a roofing project in the city where the IRE is held for teams to research, submit a bid package proposal and illustrate their roofing, project management, estimating and safety knowledge.

This year’s project was the Formula 1™ Paddock Building in Las Vegas. Teams work with a roofing contractor mentor to craft a written proposal and the top five teams are invited to attend the IRE to present their proposals to the judges. The finalists are also invited to attend the Roofing Alliance’s Welcome Reception and the NRCA Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception.

University of Florida was among the finalist teams this year. Team captain Nick Hanson won best individual presenter and the team received first place for their combined written and oral proposal. Nick and his teammates appeared on RoofersCoffeeShop® live sound stage for an interview after their presentation to talk about the competition and their plans for choosing roofing as a career choice after graduation.

When asked how presenting to the judges went, Nick shared, “It was great. I think we put a project together that we’re proud of as a team and I think we peaked at the right time and did our best work this morning, so I’m proud of what we accomplished.”

There were several challenges the team had to anticipate for the Formula 1™ Paddock Building roof, like the unique roof assembly and working with single ply. Nick explained, “That was something none of us really had a whole lot of experience with. The second thing would be how we were going to labor load the job and address the schedule. It was a very quick turnaround to get it ready in time for the F1 race.”

Attending the International Roofing Expo® provided a valuable opportunity for these students to network and connect with roofing professionals, Roofing Alliance members and fellow students and faculty. When asked what they were looking for in a prospective employer, team member Grayson Johnston shared, “I think what I’m looking for in an employer is somebody who’s willing to cross train me and reward my eagerness to learn. There’s a lot of hyper-specialization in the construction industry today and while that’s good that we have people who are good at what they do, it limits what people are capable of.”

Registration for the 2024-25 Construction Management Student Competition will be available this summer. Watch the University of Florida’s full interview below and find the YouTube videos from the other 2024 competing teams here.