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From the Editor: Celebrating the Work We Do

Mark Scacco on December 19, 2016 - in Articles, Column

Timing is everything, and I couldn’t have timed my joining Informed Infrastructure any better. The AEC industry continues to grow at a rapid rate, and the key technologies such as BIM, reality capture and even virtual and augmented reality are finally growing in adoption, which is going to lead to all of us working smarter, better and faster.

And I wouldn’t be doing my new job if I didn’t note that this multi-platform media company I recently joined seems like it’s poised to take off in major ways. It’s been less than two years since the first printed issue of Informed Infrastructure “hit the streets,” yet the enthusiasm and respect I see from its readers and advertisers and other supporters leads me to believe I made the right choice in being affiliated with this publication and its team.

Celebration Tour

My timing also seemed perfect when the first act I performed to represent the magazine was as a juror for the Bentley Systems Year In Infrastructure Be Inspired Awards. I sat on three panels that decided who won the Reality Modeling, Buildings and Structures categories. It was a difficult process, as these awards are very competitive, and we all take our role very seriously, but it was extremely educational to go over all the details of these projects to explore what separated the finalists from the entries and eventually the winners from the rest.

You’ll find a special section in our January/February 2017 issue covering the Be Inspired award winners, and we’ll be posting several video interviews from the event on our Web site and other channels.

It was also nice to start my new role with a trip to historic London and all of its heritage and culture. They built some amazing structures during the last thousand years or so. I followed that up with some vacation time in Ireland, but you’ll have to ask me about that part of the trip in person.

From there, I went directly to Autodesk University in Las Vegas, another event that champions the great work of AEC designers and builders. It was a spectacle worthy of the glitz of Las Vegas, although the architectural history there isn’t quite the same as London.

I attended Autodesk’s AEC Excellence Awards ceremony, which also showcased some truly amazing work. We highlight the winners of the major categories on pages 22-23. Our team was able to speak with some of the winners, so look for those video interviews in the near future.

Celebrating in These Pages

Although it’s nice, you don’t have to win an official award to be celebrated for your accomplishments. There are several features in this issue that champion the innovation and skill of our readers. For example, we showcase the Elk Falls Bridge, a 64-meter-long suspension bridge intentionally designed to sway and sag to give tourists a “fun fear factor.” It takes truly innovative engineering to design and build something to appear to be unstable while maintaining perfect safety.

We also highlight Contra Costa College and its new $52 million, 108,379-square-foot Contra Costa College Center. And getting progressively larger in scope, there’s also a showcase of how the Paris Metro train system is working to double its coverage by 2030.

And don’t forget to check out the Software Showcase in this issue. You’ll need to do a lot more research before choosing your tools, but hopefully this guide can give you a place to start your journey.

Celebrating the User

The advances in technology and its applications are impressive and fast-paced. However, at the end of the day, they’re all just tools to be wielded by a competent designer. Are you and your team keeping up?

Whether it’s via classic live training, Wareflix eLearning or other means, we must keep ourselves and our organizations up to speed, so we can continue to deliver the best work we can. One way Informed Infrastructure can help is with our Professional Development Hours Series, such as this month’s piece on engineered bioretention media and how to successfully implement, test and certify this new stormwater technology. Read the article, take the test online, and you can earn continuing education units to document your path to growing your skillset.

We need to be learning all the time—it’s a continuing process that never ends. It’s this quest to continually grow and get better that leads to all the great work we do, which gets all the awards that have been handed out lately. After this amazing month of celebration, I can’t wait to see who and what will be “collecting the hardware” this time next year.

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About Mark Scacco

Mark Scacco, P.E., is a 25-year veteran of AEC technology and design consulting. He is an AEC Industry Consultant with Scacco LLC and can be reached via email at [email protected].

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