Construction Management: Student Achievement

 

Wentworth Students Take 2nd Place at the 2020 Datathon Competition Sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

A multi-disciplinary, student team comprised of members from Wentworth Institute of Technology, Auburn University and Arizona State University, took second place in the inaugural 2020 Datathon Competition. This competition was sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Computing Division. The competition took place alongside the annual 2020 Construction Research Congress (CRC 2020) Conference which was held in Tempe, Arizona this spring. A description of the event is as follows:

“This datathon is focused on rapid 3D and virtual reality (VR) modeling… launched in two phases (off-site and on-site)… teams will work on generating accurate building information models (BIM) and VR models from a given set of drawings of a real project” (VIMS 2020 Announcement: ASCE, 2020).

The team consisted of two graduate students in the Master of Architecture program at Wentworth Institute of Technology, a student in the Master of Building Construction program at Auburn University and a Ph.D. student in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering (AME) at Arizona State University. The team was coached by John Cribbs, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor in the Department of Construction Management, at Wentworth Institute of Technology. The team members were as follows:

  • Dreux Santos-Quesnel: M.Arch student, Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Cullen Ullo: M.Arch student, Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Brendon (Austin) Haikes: MBC student, Auburn University
  • Joshua Gigantino: Ph.D. student AME: Arizona State University

For Phase 1, the competition team was initially provided with a set of building documents spanning the architectural, structural, and mechanical disciplines. These documents were utilized by the team to generate a coordinated Building Information Model (BIM) using parametric authoring software. This model was then evaluated by subject matter experts for model completeness, semantic data representation, model accuracy and final renderings and a video presentation.

After successfully navigating Phase 1, the team quickly switched gears and focused on the generation of a single-person Virtual Reality (VR) model of the building using open-source gaming engines. The final environment which the students were able to generate was a realistic environment for a building walk-through, at first person height. This final model, which was developed utilizing Unity 3D, was evaluated for VR model completeness, User experience, creativity of VR environment and functions and the realistic nature of renderings and material mapping.

The following are a few quotes/takeaways from one of the student team members:

 

Dreux Santos-Quesnel: M.Arch student, Wentworth Institute of Technology

“The project was engaging!”

“The process moved quickly (even with thesis work going on), and the use of BIM360 made remote collaboration and development move extremely quickly, as we finished the majority of the work for Phase 1 in three days.”

“I joined this competition to learn how to integrate VR into my thesis developments… It primarily showed me the strength of using VR to showcase a space in human scale and make critiques of it without having to build the structure in full scale. Using VR heavily in early design processes and moderately for changes throughout the design development would lead to designs that are far more informative and accurate to client goals.”

 

Overall, this project showcased the ability for future, multidisciplinary teams to collaborate quickly in an all virtual environment. The competition team spanned three time zones, with students spread across 2,500+ miles of distance. Communication was handled largely via the Slack application with data and model management based in cloud sharing applications and heavy use of the Autodesk BIM360 tool. Live VR development took place in rapid succession through scrum development techniques and the outcome proved to be quite successful with such short timeframes for each respective deliverable.

Additionally, the team was able to develop an Augment Reality (AR) version of their model which was pushed into a Microsoft Hololens. This model contained the ability to be visualized in real-time, at various scales. Ultimately, a user was able to look inside the AR model and visualize the space as if they were inside the designed and constructed building!

For more information regarding this competition or the team experience, please feel free to contact Professor Cribbs at cribbsj@wit.edu.

Annual Student Awards

  • The Wentworth Bowl
  • Unsung Hero Award
  • Outstanding First Year Leadership Award
  • Outstanding Sophomore Leadership Award
  • Outstanding Junior Leadership Award
  • Paragon Award
  • Advocate for Multiculturalism Award
  • Charles A. Rosselli Student Organization Advisor Award
  • Student Organization of the Year Award

Details for the above Annual Student Awards may be found here.

 Construction Management Student Award Winner 2020

  • President’s Award for Construction Management - Alexia Ralphs

2020 Presidents Award Winner
The President’s Awards honor one graduating senior in each major for academic excellence and consistent involvement in co-curricular activities. Students maintain high standards of academic achievement while making outstanding contributions to the Wentworth community through involvement in athletics, student leadership, and/or student organizations. This year’s Presidents Award for Construction Management (BSCM) goes to Alexia Ralphs. Congratulations Lexy!