A team of young, Sheffield-based engineers from Mott MacDonald triumphed at this year’s MERIT competition, held at Loughborough University last month.
MERIT - or Management Enterprise Risk Innovation and Teamwork - is a competition using a web-based computer simulation.
It allows players to work together in groups by acting as a board of directors and managers to run their own construction company. Teams play the first rounds against a computer. This year the top six of 120 entrant teams made it to the finals, competing against each other.
MERIT is the brainchild of Balfour Beatty’s Haro Bedelian and former head of civil engineering at Loughborough University Professor Ron MacCaffer. It is a means to help more technically focused engineers branch out into other areas of the construction industry, such as finance or bid management. Participation in the competition also counts towards ICE CPD.
The competition is now in its 25th year and this year’s final was the most international yet with over half the teams based overseas.
The winning team -named “Strike while the iron is Mott” - attributed its win to meticulous planning and quick decision-making.
The team simulated its own successful construction company via the Loughborough-developed MERIT training software.
After defeating teams from Arup Americas and a team from Birmingham-based Interserve, the Atkins teams from Hong Kong and Bengaluru in southern India, battled for second place. The Hong Kong team - calling itself
“Amazing” - eventually pipped its Indian colleagues to the post.
Celebrating its silver anniversary, ICE vice president Adrian Coy revealed the 25 years of MERIT have attracted more than 25,000 participants and has accounted for around 40,000 worth of CPD days.
Senior ICE vice president, Sir John Armitt, presented the ICE Silver Salver and a cheque from sponsor the Chartered Institute of Building to the winning team. Construction Training Body CITB sponsored the runners up prize, a cheque, for the Atkins Hong Kong team.
“Self-belief is very important in business. I am getting to the end of my career, you are at the start. You will always remember this event and I am sure it will help you. Now you can go back to your businesses, fired up and full of self-belief,” said Armitt.