Did you know that the construction industry makes up the world’s largest economic ecosystem and 13 percent of global GDP? But the construction industry is one of the least digitised sectors in the world. And it’s ripe with opportunities to disrupt the way we live and work for the better.
Construction projects need to be more efficient and cost-effective. By using innovative technology and new construction methods, Ivana believes that construction firms can cut costs and shorten project timelines. This in turn helps firms to be more competitive and attractive when it comes to winning more work. But often the biggest challenge is bringing the people working within the industry along the journey to change the status quo.
With over 15-years of experience in the AEC industry, Ivana is a qualified architect and Autodesk instructor. She is currently responsible for driving the implementation and adoption of digital ways of working at Mace Group. She develops BIM and digital engineering strategies for a range of projects – from public estates to healthcare – and ensures they are implemented on site.
Ivana firmly believes that changes in construction through digitalisation and the introduction of technology creates more opportunities – especially for women working in the industry.
As one of our Digital Builder Insiders, Ivana is eager to share the benefits and will be writing about digital transformation in the AEC sector.
Get to know her better below.
Tell me about yourself and what you specialise in?
I’m a BIM & Digital Engineering Lead with 17 years of experience in the AEC industry. My focus at Mace Group is to drive digital ways of working – enabling us to be an industry wide lead in the space of digital construction. Looking at my background, I’m a Qualified Architect – step by step I made a transition into both construction and the digital space.
How did you get into the construction industry?
I have to be very honest and say that this wasn’t intentional to start with – I worked as an Autodesk Instructor and later an Autodesk Authorised Training Centre Manager during my university days, whilst studying to become an Architect. This helped me to gain many technical as well as soft skills which I use nowadays but also showed me that technology was something I’m really interested in.
When I continued my career as an Architect, BIM was slowly making its way in and I kept finding opportunities to get involved in driving it forward.
Eventually I had to make a choice – which meant making a step into construction which enabled me to join my passions for technology and the built environment, so it turned out to be a great move!
Why are you passionate about digital transformation in construction?
Digital Transformation is a big passion of mine, the world around us is changing every day and construction has resisted that change for way too long unfortunately. Instead of seeing barriers to transformation, I prefer focusing on problem solving and overcoming challenges. I’ve seen so much change in this space in the last few years and am always excited about the innovation coming up.
Is there a project or person in the industry that inspires you to build better/differently?
In my sector at Mace, we are doing a lot of work in the life sciences sector – these projects are a big source of inspiration for me personally. Knowing that we are building spaces which will enable life changing research gives me an incredible sense of purpose. Our team inspires me a lot – there is so much knowledge around and I need to give a lot of credit to everyone who is continuously open to embracing technology in their day-to-day work life and learning new digital skills. This is helping us in many areas – especially when it comes to driving operational efficiency and managing quality.
What can readers expect to learn from you?
The focus will be on sharing my vision on technology implementation within a business and I’m hoping to inspire readers by sharing my perspective on how to become an advocate for advancing the industry. I’ve loved technology from my earliest days, and as an ex-Autodesk Instructor I really had to learn how to enable people to use it – hopefully I can share lessons learnt with our Digital Builder audience. Redefining boundaries of ambition is key for us at Mace, so hopefully I can help spread a bit of this spirit too.
What’s one “tool” you can’t live without and why?
If we are talking about physical things, I mentioned the Apple Pencil when I was a guest on the Digital Builder podcast – I’m a very visual person, so it helps me to express my thoughts in a creative way. I’m completely lost if I leave the house without it. It went missing for a few hours recently and the whole team was alarmed and mobilised until we found it!
From soft skills, I would mention a smile – I truly believe in the power of positive attitude and perseverance when it comes to digital transformation, this will get you a long way.