Cal Poly Hosts First MAC Competition

MAC Winners

Cal Poly’s first MAC Competition took place Oct. 6-7. The industry-sponsored event was a collaboration between professionals and the student chapters of the Mechanical Contractors Association and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning. Four teams of 19 students from mechanical engineering, bioresource and agricultural engineering (BRAE) and construction management, competed for $3,000 in prizes.

The competition simulated real problems that engineers could experience when designing HVAC systems. The teams were tasked with designing a duct size and location, choosing an Air Handling Unit (AHU) based on cooling load calculations, doing an economic analysis, completing a crane lift plan for installation, constructing safety plans, designing a schedule for installation and coming up with a final cost for the entire project. 

On the morning of the first day, teams were given the design problem. The students had until  5 p.m. – less than nine hours – to analyze the problem, solve it and deliver the the supporting documents to the judges. 

Midway through the competition the teams were given a surprise; equipment was being delayed by two weeks, but the project end date remained the same. The students had to change crane plans and calculate the impact on the project schedule and budget. 

The next day, each team gave a 25-minute presentation on their design solutions. Judging was based on the submitted documentation and the presentation. The winners of the competition were Soojin Park (fourth-year BRAE), Tae Hun Kwak (second-year construction management), Eric Ramos (second-year mechanical engineering), Emily Gavrilenko (first-year mechanical engineering) and Daisy An (fourth-year mechanical engineering).  

“It was rewarding to be part of this competition, and I could tell the underclassmen learned a lot from participating,” said An, team project manager. 

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