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Design Drafting Contest Winner

Updated: May 20

The North Central Region is excited to announce that this year's College Division winner of the NEF Design Drafting Competition is from our very own region! Grace Zalubas,

This year's project was designing a visitor's center for USS Cod Submarine Memorial, a National Historic Landmark on Cleveland’s North Coast Harbor.


The Design Drafting Competition is provided by the NAWIC Education Foundation. More information about the annual competition and complete winning entries can be found on the NEF website.


Grace is currently attending the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). She intends to major in civil engineering.

She first became interested in construction when she was in fifth grade. At camp they built model houses and bridges out of balsa wood. She enjoyed the time spent designing and constructing the balsa wood structures. This led her to pursue a future in building and structural design. She went on to join the camp as a counselor at 16 because she “wanted to help inspire other kids to become interested in building design.”

Her high school architecture teacher, Amy Porter, introduced Grace to the Design Drafting competition. She competed as the high school level for 2 years before entering as a college freshman. When asked about the competition she said “I really enjoyed creating designs for the competition, so I wanted to continue during college.”

Outside of school, Grace is an engineering intern in the infrastructure division of Tetra Tech. The NEF Drafting competition prepared her with skills that she is utilizing every day in her internship. Grace says she enjoys “seeing the results of my efforts take shape in real life, instead of just on paper.”



2020 Winners - College Division

1st Place – Grace Zalubas, Freshman - North Central Region, Lansing, MI Chapter #177

2nd Place - Luke Gulbranson, Junior - Midwest Region, Fargo-Moorhead, ND Chapter #246


2020 Winners - High School Division

1st Place – Braeden N. Byrd,12th Grade - Pacific Southwest Region, El Paso, TX Chapter #248

2nd Place - Jethro Rust,12th Grade - South Atlantic Region, Roanoke, VA Chapter #226



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