The Electrical Contracting Innovation Challenge (ECIC) gives university students and faculty advisors the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and creativity in designing and constructing (virtually) the most innovative electrical system solutions to meet their assigned customer’s needs. ECIC is an annual event that fosters meaningful student interaction with their community and NECA member companies.
About the Challenge
Student Chapter teams design and then present their approach and solution to energy-efficient installations at a specific type of facility assigned to them by ELECTRI International. Teams must demonstrate their ability to analyze particular electrical construction management “problems” and create a comprehensive plan and budget for an appropriate retrofit. Each faculty advisor and student team will work with a specified customer to design the assigned project using a set of construction documents and building information models provided by ELECTRI staff. All NECA Student Chapter teams will use the same contract documents and general scenario to complete the project.
If possible, the team may contact the customer to learn more about their needs and preferences. This interaction can help the student team think of creative ideas and solutions that will best serve the customer’s needs. Teams must also create a detailed plan of ways to engage with their local NECA contractors for assistance. It is essential for the student teams to work closely with a NECA contracting partner to identify means and methods that take into consideration real-world project parameters including cost, work force and other considerations.
The ECIC helps students develop technical skills that are vital to careers in electrical construction and professional skills including time management, written communication, and oral presentation. Each Student Team simulates all of the details of the assigned project. However, ECIC is not a competition in which the actual construction work is accomplished by the winning team.
An ELECTRI International jury of contractors and industry partners evaluates projects submitted and selects the top three student teams who are then are invited to the Annual NECA Convention to make oral presentations of their projects. The jury evaluates both the substance and the presentation. ELECTRI International assists with the cost of bringing the three finalist teams to the oral presentations and provides a financial award to the winning school plus several other awards.