MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Capturing an international first prize while competing against more than 200 teams is an impressive feat. Becoming the first from the United States to do it after just one try is remarkable.
Vincent Favale, a 2008 MHS graduate, and his teammates were victors in an online competition known as Enginuity, which pitted teams against one another by asking them to run a simulated global construction company based in the U.K. They worked from February until late May to prepare.
“It was a huge source of pride and accomplishment,” Favale said. “[Engineering] is really where my calling is. I’m good in it and I like it. This competition gives you a big picture of everything.”
Metrics measurements and British pounds did not impede Favale’s squad one bit as they implemented a number of effective business and design strategies to earn their victory.
Going through a playoff system, Favale’s team, named Never Tell Me the Odds, forged through countless hours of analyzing data and debating decisions.
“What made our team unique is that we’re those one-off kind of guys,” Favale said. “A lot of people said, ‘if you’re not the best out there, you don’t stand a chance.’ After a while, the four of us heard that so often throughout our daily lives and we’ve accomplished a lot to get to this point. We don’t need to hear what your odds are.”
In part one of the competition, teams played against the computer’s imaginary construction company. Only the top 20 teams advanced into the ladder rounds to go head to head until there was one left standing.
There were several different variables that each team was judged on, such as client satisfaction, on-time completion ratio, profit margin, shareholder margin and industry reputation.
Each team was told how much a job was worth in the real world. New data results and newsletters full of hints were published by Enginuity each week for the groups to examine prior to finalizing business pledges. Some of these clues were about labor strikes and catastrophic weather in certain countries that would delay potential projects.
Favale wanted to enter the competition last year but learned about it too late.
“I went to the information session this year with my friend Brendan [Tyler], and we started brainstorming on who we wanted on our team,” Favale said. “We all work together on several projects and are all friends. We see each other multiple times during the day and get along.”
As a high school student, Favale was a member of varsity football, wrestling, and track. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Manhattan College.
“It all stems from when my parents signed me up to start playing football in the sixth grade,” Favale said. “That’s where I started learning how to be a responsible adult and how to push myself further than anybody else.”
He credits many of his qualities to the coaches he had throughout his seven-year football career and to his participation on the wrestling team.
“All of the coaches that I had were absolutely phenomenal,” Favale said. “Growing up, I can’t think of one that I would not have had again. They were all very encouraging and knew how to get everything they needed out of their players. It really taught me a lot in that the idealism they instilled in us is the same thing that I use when I’m working with my guys and building a team.”
Favale now works full time as a plumbing and fire protection engineer for the largest ranked engineering firm in the world, WSP, located in Manhattan. He not only works on city projects but on developments throughout the United States and internationally, as well.
Favale is currently pursuing a Masters of Science degree in fire protection engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute while taking two classes per semester and completing assignments on the weekends.
Still living in Mahopac, he watches the uploaded lectures conducted at his college [located outside of Boston] and reviews course material when he returns home from work.
Favale is scheduled to take a professional engineer’s license exam this this month and plans to graduate by May 2019.