DEWSC students are gaining real-world experience with digital construction

NECA team
From left to right: Sathwik Sathish, Kyle Coy, Megan Mehas, Mariana Martinez De La Cruz and Alejandro Toledo. Not pictured: Rylan Duggan

For the first time, a team of students from the Del E. Webb School of Construction within the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University is competing in the annual ELECTRI/NECA Student Chapter Competition.

The National Electrical Contractors Association, or NECA, student chapter at ASU was established in the fall of 2023. The seven team members — all students in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering — have worked diligently during the academic year to compete at the national level.

The competition, known as the Electrical Contracting Innovation Challenge, or ECIC, matches students with local electrical construction professionals to perform several digital construction tasks, such as creating a layout with a robotic total station, creating execution plans using Building Information Modeling, and designing a prefabrication plan. Their work is aggregated into a formation submittal that is judged at the national level.

“This has been an amazing opportunity to collaborate with industry professionals to represent ASU while at the same time developing work skills for my career,” says Megan Mehas, a construction management junior and ASU team captain.

Mark Hofschulte, a project executive for Rosendin Electric, has led the industry contributions to this team, including conducting numerous working sessions at Rosendin’s virtual design and construction department in Phoenix, Arizona. 

“I’ve been impressed by the determination to succeed and curiosity in modern electrical construction exhibited by these students,” Hofschulte says.

On Saturday, April 20, 2024, the Arizona Chapter of NECA hosted the competition team at the organization’s craft training center. Students learned how to bend conduit, a common task for entry-level electrical workers.

“AZ NECA and its member companies are excited to partner with ASU on this competition and future engagements to educate students about careers in electrical construction,” says Debra Margraf, executive manager for AZ NECA.

The NECA contractors supporting the ASU team are:

Anna Jochim
Director of Future Workforce Development
[email protected]

Alisha Heath
ECIC Program Manager
[email protected]