An RMIT student team has beaten top international competition to win a global construction management challenge.
The team of four Bachelor of Applied Science (Construction Management) students - Joel Mitchell, Luke Mitrione, Oscar MacLeod Savage and Frederick Austin - was awarded first place in the Chartered Institute of Building's Global Student Challenge.
The group travelled to Hong Kong to take on five other universities from around the world in the finals of the competition, which involved students running their own virtual construction company.
Past president of the Chartered Institute of Building, Alan Crane, said the challenge offered a unique opportunity for students to develop their management and leadership skills - needed more than ever by employers - in a virtual environment.
"RMIT University has shown that its students have what is needed to thrive in construction and that their talents would be an enviable asset for any business in any sector," he said.
"You are only as good as your competition and all the teams offered a serious challenge."
Professor Ron Wakefield, Head of the School of Property, Construction and Project Management, said the virtual competition offered a real challenge for the students.
"They had to develop business management skills, make staffing level decisions, do project estimates and bids, manage cash flow and capital and seek investment opportunities," he said.
"Their success shows how well our students are able to meet the challenges of running their business in a global context."
RMIT finished ahead of Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Hong Kong.
Other teams to reach the final came from the University of Greenwich and Loughborough University, as well as a second team from the University of Hong Kong.
More than 20 teams from across the world, including Australia, Hong Kong, the UK and the US, took part in the competition that started in February.
Joel Mitchell, who completed a Diploma of Building and Construction at RMIT before starting his undergraduate degree, said the team was thrilled to win the competition.
"Not only were we obviously ecstatic that we won a global event such as this, but we also had the opportunity to network and meet like-minded individuals from other areas of the planet," he said.
"It's these contacts, and the CIOB network we have been introduced to, that we will really benefit from throughout our careers.
"We were really very impressed with how well we worked together. The challenge was very intricate, and with tight timeframes to submit data in the finals - it just wouldn't have worked unless you worked as a team."
Mr Mitchell said the skills he had developed through his RMIT studies were vital for success in the challenge.
"RMIT already has a strong reputation for being one of the best universities to deliver property and construction-related programs," he said.
"There is a lot of group participation for most subjects and a lot of students help each other get through the course - a culture that was certainly adopted for the global student challenge.
"The diversity of course subjects really gave us a thorough understanding of the industry and assisted greatly for the competition."
Student Luke Mitrione paid tribute to supervisors and RMIT senior lecturers Mark Vines and Peter Wong, from the School of Property, Construction and Project Management, in the help they offered the team in the final stages of the challenge.
"Given that RMIT has such an industry focus in its education model, being able to learn from lecturers and tutors who have worked - and are still working - in the industry in which they teach is invaluable," Mr Mitrione said.
"It is this key difference to other universities that held us in great stead in the competition."
The School of Property Construction and Project Management is hosting its annual Careers Day on Wednesday, 20 August, giving students the opportunity to meet with potential employers.
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