The University of Wisconsin-Madison won the 2023 Electrical Contracting Innovation Challenge (ECIC).
Wayne State University came in second and Iowa State University was third. The winner was announced at NECA 2023 Philadelphia during Sunday’s General Session, and the others were announced at the student summit on Sunday afternoon.
The annual ECIC gave students an area to test their knowledge and creativity by designing an electrical system to meet their customer’s needs. This is the 15th annual student competition ELECTRI International has held.
“We are trying to make this as real-world as possible,” said Josh Bone, executive director of ELECTRI International, in his opening remarks. Procore provided the students with licenses to give them practice working on project management software.
This year, student teams worked with local NECA chapters and contractors to produce a proposal including project manager tasks for the Oglethorpe University Emerson Student Center. The project asked students to image themselves as the electrical contractor and perform tasks as such. This challenge is designed to show students the diversity of opportunities in the electrical contracting industry and a wholistic view of project management.
Teams were given a letter that mirrored a contractor’s scope of work, which students used as a guide for their proposal. The program challenged students to handle typical challenges project managers face, including change orders, schedule of values and more.
There was also a video challenge, and the videos for the top four teams—Illinois Institute of Technology, Wayne State University, Ball State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison—were shown at the ECIC for attendees to vote on. Wayne State University won, the University of Wisconsin-Madison came in second, Illinois Institute of Technology was third and Ball State University was fourth. Teams won $1,000, $750, $500 and $250 in this category, respectively.
Other awards presented included:
- Best presenter: Will Sanders from Wayne State University
- Most innovative prefabrication: Wayne State University
- Most influential social media: California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo
- Most innovative change order: California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo
- NECA Student Chapter of the Year: SUNY Delhi