March 01, 2013

Ilie Talpasanu on the MCAA student chapter club

Professor Ilie Talpasanu (left) with the Wentworth MCAA Student Chapter

Interdisciplinary project places fifth in national competition

MCAA student chapter president Logen Johnson writes about the club's recent success. Here are more details about the competition and next steps from club advisor professor Ilie Talpasanu:

What is the history of the Wentworth MCAA student chapter?

Several years ago a group of mechanical engineering technology students and I (as their advisor) initiated Wentworth’s student chapter of the MCAA. Each year the team prepared a project for the MCAA-Student Chapter competition. In the time frame of two months, teams from US and Canadian universities submitted their proposals on the installation of mechanical systems on a wide and diverse range of construction projects.

How did the student skills from the various disciplines and departments complement one another?

Mechanical engineering and electromechanical students at Wentworth, with their knowledge in systems such as heating, air conditioning, ventilation, sheet metal, industrial piping, domestic solar hot water heating, cogeneration, electrical, and instrumentation, connected with Construction Management and Architecture students to pool their approaches to a problem, which requires understanding of diverse disciplines.

What was different about this year’s competition and proposal than previous years?

This year’s competition project involved a 50,000 square-foot NASA space exploration center located in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The bidders were required to recommend design elements that meet or exceed the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) highest “platinum” standard according to their LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system. This year’s project was the toughest yet on every level.

What was the judges’ feedback?

The judges, professionals with many years of business experience, provided good feedback on the Wentworth team’s proposal: “The judges liked the overall presentation. It was well written, good organization. The executive summary was excellent. Concise, well written and it covered all the bases—price, schedule, and quality control. Value engineering ideas were good.”

What’s next for the MCAA student chapter and for these students?

The student chapter is working to gain members from different majors and on participating in networking events, such as New England Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA) meetings. In addition, four Wentworth students will participate at the next MCAA Summit which will take place October 3-5, 2013, in Memphis, Tenn., where the project for the 2013-2014 Student Chapter Competition will be announced.

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