College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Construction and Civil Engineering Students Earn Second Place in National Electrical Contractor Challenge

The Iowa State student chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) participated in the Electric International Electrical Contracting Innovation Challenge (ECIC) in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 9, 2021. The civil (CE) and construction engineering (ConE) students earned 2nd place in the overall competition, with Gretchen Mathiason (Sr. CE) and Ty Turner (Sr. ConE) receiving awards for best presenter.

Josh Zeien presenting during competition


Josh Zeien, a senior in construction engineering, competed in the event and said, “As a member of Iowa State’s NECA Student Chapter, I was so proud of what our team created for the Electrical Contracting Innovation Challenge, and I am proud as a senior to see students coming up through the CCEE department to be showing their knowledge and passion for the electrical construction industry. The support behind us through the Iowa NECA chapter is also phenomenal, and we have to thank them for their continued support of us as students.”


The team was responsible for a professional presentation and answering questions the judges posed, which they responded to well. Jenny Baker, NECA Advisor, said, “Numerous attendees stopped us at various convention events to tell us how impressed they were with our students and the job they did!”

NECA student presentation team

Lucas Gilman (Sr. ConE), Gretchen Mathiason (Sr. CE), Ty Turner (Sr. ConE), Megan Lingafelter (Sr. ConE), Ryan Farrell (Jr. ConE), and Josh Zeien (Sr. ConE) are all a part of the Iowa State NECA student chapter’s ECIC team that competed in this national competition. Former CCEE teaching professor Beth Hartmann, now in the Program for Women in Science and Engineering, acted as a mentor, teacher, and advisor for this team. The student organization often tours job sites, teams up with other organizations to host social events and invites industry professionals to speak to students.