Autodesk University has not failed to excite us in the last couple of days. Amazing sessions, great conversations, and an immersive look into the future of technology in the AEC industry – what more could you ask for? Day 1 had the attention-grabbing General Session where Autodesk CEO, Andrew Anagnost, shared insights into the future of digital transformation. Day 2 featured the Construction Session which inspired the audience to unlock the power of data with convenience and control through a platform.
Day 3 was just as exciting as the previous days with captivating Theater Talk sessions as well as many more classes to help construction professionals improve their day-to-day workflows.
Prefer listening to podcasts? Don’t miss the AU Day 2 recap episode on Digital Builder—available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, YouTube, and anywhere else you get your podcasts. You can also listen to it here.
Theatre Talk Sessions
Our Theatre Talk sessions ended on a high note on Day 3 of the event. These TED-style talks featured big-picture ideas and insights from thought leaders in the AEC industry.
You can view all Theatre Talk sessions just 24 hours after they go live. Learn more here.
Transforming Construction for Growth
Today, digital transformation in construction is seen as more of an obligation than an opportunity. In this session, attendees heard from three impactful leaders within the construction industry about how they are approaching digital transformation to grow their businesses.
Lindsey Rem, VP, Business Transformation at Barton Malow inspired the audience by showcasing the company’s LIFTbuild, a vertical manufacturing methodology that builds top down. However, despite the immense value of an initiative like LIFTbuild, it still can be a hurdle to convince customers to be the first to innovate. She noted, “Despite tackling many of the big issues in construction – safety, lack of skilled labor, mass customization, and schedule delays – a major challenge with LIFTbuild is finding customers willing to take the leap.”
Matt Warren, Head of Digital Engineering, Europe at Lendlease started his talk out with a powerful example about how strategy and technology helped equip world-class athlete, Eliud Kipchoge, to be the first person to run a marathon distance in under two hours. A similar mindset can be applied to your people to help them do more with less. He shared, “To secure the expectations and opportunities our customers are presenting, we’re going to have to put the right shoes on our people’s feet to enable them to go further, to achieve more for each other and our customers.”
Sustainability Goals with Better Construction
Construction is one of the most wasteful industries on the planet. But what can GCs and subcontractors do to make an impact? In the Theatre Talk, attendees heard from four forward-thinking innovators on how to evolve processes and choose materials to improve outcomes—for your company and the world you live in.
Shannon Goodman, Executive Director at Lifecycle Building Center, shared how her company is changing the label of waste and transforming it into materials. Beyond reducing waste, the company is also making an economic and social impact. For instance, they are creating economic impact by donating materials to a nonprofit, Atlanta Trust Fund, building affordable housing units. In turn, the nonprofit can lower construction costs and build more housing for those in need.
Callahan Tufts, Nebula Design Lead at Nexii Building Solutions, shared how his company is already meeting and exceeding current and future sustainable goals through Nexii’s innovative system, precision manufactured off-site, and rapidly assembled on-site. The company’s system is helping to reduce construction waste and turn the industry on its head. “What I truly believe is that construction is ready for major change and it’s already happening,” he said. “Everyone keeps talking about the future of buildings….but that future is here….right now.”
Session Spotlight – Spot on Site: Maximizing Jobsite Robotics for Evaluating Housekeeping
Led by Brooke Gemmell, Emerging Technology Manager at Skanska this captivating session covered an experiment that Brooke and the rest of her team performed on a jobsite using Spot, a robot that navigates through terrain in order to make work on the field more efficient. In this experiment, Brooke covers whether using Spot for housekeeping on a jobsite would be the most efficient way to reduce risk and make housekeeping more efficient.
Some of the main goals of this experiment were to determine whether they can automate the capture of photos to be used in housekeeping analysis, automate analysis of housekeeping photos, successfully navigate around a jobsite with Spot, and consistently repeat autonomous missions over time.
When testing out Spot’s maneuverability they found that it was actually quite difficult to make it fall, meaning this could be a potential hazard for workers on site.
“When Spot had an issue it’s clear that it may be an issue for the site since he is able to maneuver almost just as well as a person,” said Brooke.
Earlier in the week, Brooke also sat down for a live episode of Digital Builder podcast on the show floor. Brooke shared more about her work in emerging technology at Skanska and her thoughts on the future of robotics in the industry. Stay tuned for a recording of the episode – coming soon!
What are attendees saying about AU?
Check out some of the AU experiences from our construction attendees!
Day 3 of Autodesk University wraps up our days of fun in person, but it doesn’t have to stop there. You can relive all of these amazing moments by checking them out on-demand or on our social media channels so you can revisit the fun as often as you like. See you next year!