Sever student wins grand prize at national precast design competition

Pabjan, third from left, stands with her teammates after they've been presented with their prize at the Project Precast Design Competition.
A master's student in the McKelvey School of Engineering was a member of the team that recently won the grand prize at the inaugural Project Precast Design Competition in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kinga Iwona Pabjan, a student studying construction management in the McKelvey School of Engineering and architecture in the Sam Fox School of Design, worked with two other students from the University of Arizona and Clemson University to submit the winning proposal and win $3,000.

"It was a shock to find out that my team won, simply because all the project proposals and presentations were very strong and worth winning," Pabjan said. "But ultimately, I was thrilled and happy that the judges saw the value in our proposal."

The competition, which was hosted by the PCI Foundation, required teams to design a four-stall horse barn in less than two days. The PCI Foundation is an educational entity that supports the precast concrete industry.

Only 15 students were selected from throughout the nation to compete.

"The 15 students were stellar examples of highly intelligent, competitive, team-oriented and enjoyable leaders of tomorrow," Marty McIntyre, executive director of the PCI Foundation, wrote in a statement.

Along with Pabjan, four other students from Washington University in St. Louis were selected: Jairo LaVerde, Rachel Madryga, Taili Zhuang and Alexis Raiford. LaVerde, Madryga and Raiford also are students in the construction management program. Students who were selected to take part in the competition were also invited to attend the PCI Foundation's annual trade show.

"The greatest value of this design competition was the knowledge that I gained," Pabjan said. "All the students competing were exposed to the latest technological advances in the precast industry and had the chance to collaborate with experts, as well as peers who share similar interests."