The Student Challenge

Ignite FM! Competition Comes to the World of FM Education

The inspiration for IgniteFM! came from the hackathon events that have become popular in computer programming.  At hackathons, competing teams of programmers work together to create a fully functioning application in a very short amount of time.

In our FM version, the competition organizers added an additional challenge.  Students are assigned to teams with students from other schools whom they had never met.  Their first task is to get to know each other and determine how they will work together.

The competition organizers present a problem statement that entailed a hypothetical situation or problem an Facility Manager faces.  Student teams are given just three hours to solve the problem. By the end of the three-hour period, teams submit their presentations to the organizers in Microsoft PowerPoint files.

Student teams present their solutions to the judging panel as well as an audience of built environment professionals the next day. Each team had just ten minutes to explain their solution to the problem in a way that is clear, concise and interesting. Teams are judged on their critical thinking, the quality of their verbal and visual presentations and on their knowledge of IFMA’s eleven core competencies.  Although it wasn’t a requirement, most teams organized their presentations so that each team member delivers part of their respective presentations.

Devin Shackleford

Kennesaw State Graduate
Now- Sodexo Employee

IFMA's World Workplace Conference

-IFMA Greater Triangle Chapter Scholarship Recipient

Had it not been for the IFMA Foundation Scholarship program and Ignite FM! Student Challenge at IFMA World Workplace, I would not have the job that I have today at Sodexo. I was fortunate enough to have people from Sodexo witness and judge my Ignite FM! competition presentation. Fortunately, the Sodexo judges were impressed with my skills and abilities and offered me a position as an operations support specialist for their Walgreens portfolio. I’m excited to be in charge of their computerized maintenance management systems”

Ignite FM Student Challenge Winners

IFMA’s World Workplace,  Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Graham Tier, IFMA Chair (left) and Erik Jaspers, Planon (right)

Ignite FM winners: Sungil Hong, Georgia Institute of Technology; Eva Buurma, Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen; Kevin Squadroni, Temple University; Varusha Venkatraj, Texas A&M University; Wai-lam William Wong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University


IFMA’s World Workplace Europe Meets Facility For Future, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Erik Jaspers, Planon (Right) and Deborah Rowland, Sodexo (Left)

Ignite FM winners: Tessel Meeuwissen (missing), Haagse Hogeschool; Franziska Müller, Technische Universität Kaiserslauter; Tobias Burkhart, Technische Universität Kaiserslauter; Cas Verdonk, Breda University of Applied Science


IFMA’s Facility Fusion Conference & Expo Chicago, Illinois, USA

Michael Schley, FM:Systems Founder and Past Chair IFMA Foundation (left)

Ignite FM winners:  Breaunna Wolcott, Ferris State University; DeMarcus Means, Sr., Florida A&M University; Kaitlyn Clarey, Kennesaw State University


Thank you to our donors for helping to make FM a career of choice

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