It’s clear that engineering and construction is in a new era, with technology rapidly changing how companies design, plan, and execute projects. E&C spends an impressive $10 trillion on construction-related goods and services each year, and is “ripe for and capable of transformation.”
Several intrepid innovators are helping to drive transformation in this evolving E&C landscape. We recently started a blog series exploring frontiers in construction and engineering, in which we sit down with these “trailblazers” to explore their perspectives on fostering innovation and the transformation of E&C.
Our notable 2018 Trailblazers (listed by blog publication date):
- David Wilson, chief innovation officer of Bechtel, examines innovation in E&C and how to foster a culture that supports new ways of thinking. He defines his role as “disrupting with intent”, with one guiding question in mind: “How do we create a better experience for our builders?” Read Part I and Part II.
- Ricardo Khan, senior director of innovation at Mortenson, shares his views on innovation and emerging E&C technology. He says, “Innovation is about solving business problems in new creative ways, so we always start with, ‘[W]hat problems are we trying to solve?’” Read Part I and Part II.
- John Jurewicz, director of technology innovation for Walbridge Building Design and Construction, share his ideas on how to foster innovation in the workplace in addition to emerging technologies in E&C. Jurewicz says, “Demonstrating that innovative technology is more efficient or optimal is the greatest way to build credibility. This is what fosters new growth and trying new things.” Read Part I and Part II.
- Curtis Rodgers, principal at venture capital firm Brick & Mortar Ventures, shares insights on how digital transformation is helping overcome numerous construction challenges. “We’re in a period of solution abundance,” Rodgers says. “Technology has finally advanced to the point of addressing the unique challenges of construction.” Read our full interview here.
- Jesse Devitte, co-founder, Building Ventures and Borealis Ventures, shares how he’s been involved in the technology revolution as an investor. He also provides views on the state of innovation in the industry today. Devitte states: “Our mission as investors is perfect information for a better built world. It’s why technology and the use of data can make such a major difference.” Read Part I and Part II.
Innovators vs industry laggards
Many business leaders in the industry are still reticent to change their ways and plunge into modernizing technology. Fear is a powerful driver to stick with what’s comfortable and known.
But shaking up one’s own business may be the only option for organizations who don’t want to be left behind.
According to Forbes, technological evolution starts with: 1) the technology and vision, 2) tech capabilities, and finally, 3) holding organizations accountable to glean value from their technological investment.
The last step is often the most challenging. The construction and engineering industry is currently tackling this final step with digital transformation.
Fortunately, an increasing number of construction leaders want to stay ahead of the competition. These companies are embracing digital technologies to help mold our industry’s future.
Stay tuned as we continue to speak with innovative industry leaders in our Trailblazers series.
Explore innovation in action at the Oracle Construction and Engineering Innovation Lab, a simulated worksite with integrated technologies.
Read our eBook: "Innovation in Construction: Perspectives from AEC Innovation Leaders"
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Read more Trailblazers posts here.