Are you too old to be an engineer?

Institution of Engineering and Technology | June 19, 2019

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has asserted that younger people are just smarter than older ones. We talk to Aviva and other companies about their efforts to challenge ageism. Try to imagine someone working in the tech industry and you’ll visualise a man in his late 20s playing ping-pong and wearing designer jeans and sneakers. You wouldn’t be wrong. The average age of a Google employee is 29. As Facebooks founder Mark Zuckerberg, now the ripe age of 35, famously said: Young people are just smarter. But are they? Although there are no similar statistics available for the UK industry, it’s still clear – age may be the final barrier to be dismantled in the creation of a truly diverse tech workforce. Gareth Jones, an HR and technology consultant and CEO of Headstart, says: The general narrative in the tech industry is age-biased and the focus is on millennials.

Spotlight

Mechanical engineers are found in dozens of industries, and the technical divisions of ASME span from aerospace to tribology. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the arm of the U.S. government tasked with tracking employment, found that of the 303,440 mechanical engineers at work in the United States in May 2018 the date of its most recent estimate of industry-specific occupational employment and wages, 148,890 work in the manufacturing sector. That’s 49 percent of all mechanical engineers.

Spotlight

Mechanical engineers are found in dozens of industries, and the technical divisions of ASME span from aerospace to tribology. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the arm of the U.S. government tasked with tracking employment, found that of the 303,440 mechanical engineers at work in the United States in May 2018 the date of its most recent estimate of industry-specific occupational employment and wages, 148,890 work in the manufacturing sector. That’s 49 percent of all mechanical engineers.

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DESIGN,CONSTRUCTION

Augmenta Introduces Electrical Design Module for the Augmenta Construction Platform

Augmenta | August 29, 2022

Augmenta, the company automating building design for the construction industry, today announced the Electrical Design Module, the first Generative Design solution for its Augmenta Construction Platform (ACP). The module addresses the needs of electrical contractors and engineers, enabling them to accelerate the time it takes to estimate and create fully constructible, code-compliant electrical raceway designs by automating the entire process. While today’s shop drawings typically only model the main runs of an electrical distribution system, the Augmenta Construction Platform can create fully detailed designs for entire projects in hours instead of weeks or months. Using Generative Design, the Electrical Design Module for the ACP delivers accurate, National Electrical Code® (NEC) compliant, fully detailed 3D raceway designs, complete with a bill of materials. This not only reduces design time by up to 70%, it also eliminates double entry, and provides the ability to evaluate multiple design options against cost, construction time, and maintainability. The generated designs are more efficient, requiring up to 20% less material and labor than traditional designs. The Electrical Design Module also cuts the time required to estimate projects by up to 50%. These benefits enable engineers and contractors to make better use of their teams, letting them focus on higher value activities. “The Electrical Design Module for our Augmenta Construction Platform is the first of several solutions we are developing to automate building design, We’re tackling the toughest design challenges in the construction industry, and plan to also provide solutions for plumbing, mechanical, and structural engineers and contractors. Our ultimate goal is to deliver an integrated solution that eliminates the time consuming and error prone processes of designing systems, and sharing and coordinating those designs across trades.” -Francesco Iorio, CEO and co-founder of Augmenta. Using Generative Design and AI to solve one of the biggest design problems in construction Today, the building design process is constrained by tools that act as little more than a digital drafting board. These tools make creating designs for electrical systems complex and time-consuming, often requiring several rounds of review, interpretation, and refinement. Each iteration takes time and money, making it impractical to explore alternative design options. Until now, computational design and design automation have been used in the construction industry primarily for conceptual exploration by architects. For the first time, Augmenta is bringing the power of these techniques to all aspects of the design process. Using a novel combination of mathematical optimization and artificial intelligence to ensure designs are constructible and compliant, the ACP also leverages machine learning to continuously speed up the design process. This transformative approach enables the automated design of constructible buildings at a high level of detail, based on the requirements identified for a building and the applicable building codes. The Electrical Design Module was developed in collaboration with Interstates, an innovative electrical contractor based in the U.S. “In a very short period of time, we saw how dramatically Augmenta’s approach to automated design can reduce the cost of the design process, It enables us to decrease the risk of inaccurately scoping time and cost estimates while drastically reducing the time it takes to complete estimates for bids. This gives us additional time to present fully considered design alternatives, thus positioning our company as a strategic partner to our clients, which include general contractors, engineering firms, developers, and owners.” -Josh Gillespie, BIM/VDC Director at Interstates. About Augmenta: Founded by pioneers of Generative Design at Autodesk, Augmenta is a software company that is driving a new level of efficiency for the construction industry by automating building design. The company’s flagship Augmenta Construction Platform (ACP) significantly accelerates the time it takes to detail and estimate designs, eliminates costly redesign and rework, and reduces overall risk. It also ensures buildings are designed to be energy efficient, use sustainable materials, are safer to build, and contribute less waste to landfill during construction. Once available commercially, this innovative new cloud-based platform – which uses artificial intelligence, including machine learning and mathematical optimization – will enable contractors and engineers to create error-free, constructible, code-compliant designs of buildings and systems in hours instead of weeks.

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CONSTRUCTION

Oracle Enhances Smart Construction Platform with New Analytics Capabilities

Oracle | July 20, 2022

Engineering and construction organizations struggle to unlock data across applications to effectively diagnose problems, predict risks, and inform future actions. To address this challenge, Oracle today announced Oracle Construction Intelligence Cloud Analytics. The new solution combines data from Oracle Smart Construction Platform applications to give owners and contractors a comprehensive understanding of performance throughout their operations. With this insight, organizations can quickly spot and correct issues and target ways to drive continuous improvement across project planning, construction, and asset operation. "You can't manage what you can't measure, The new Oracle Construction Intelligence Cloud Analytics offering combined with the Smart Construction Platform's predictive intelligence engine and common data environment, gives our customers a deeper, holistic understanding of their performance. Now they can build unique data strategies that drive competitive differentiation. This is how the construction industry will get to six sigma precision like its industrial and manufacturing counterparts." -Roz Buick, senior vice president of product, strategy, and marketing for Oracle Construction and Engineering. The Smart Construction Platform unites capabilities from Oracle engineering and construction applications and third-party solutions with a common data environment and user experience. With the platform, owners and contractors can more easily work together to improve decision-making at every level of their organizations. The new analytics solution and other platform enhancements were unveiled today at the Oracle Industry Lab in Deerfield, Illinois. We are increasingly focused on finding new and better ways to leverage our data to gain further insights into project performance and risk, said Brian Neal, project manager, Rudolph Libbe Inc. Connecting and blending data for analysis will provide the broadest and deepest view into our operations, helping us to understand trends across our business and identify ways to keep improving how we deliver projects for our customers. Smart Construction Platform: Unifying people, processes, and data: The Smart Construction Platform brings together the core applications, processes, and data that owners and contractors need to work together across project and asset lifecycles. These include portfolio planning, bid/tender processes, contracts, schedules, project documents and building information model (BIM) collaboration, field tasks, costs, and payments. With the new unified experience, common data environment, and cross-application interoperability, users can easily move between applications and data sets while working within a single project. By synchronizing activities, resources, and data as each project and asset progresses, the platform helps ensure teams across disciplines are always working toward the same goal, with the same information. For instance, the platform's scheduling and project management capabilities synchronize planning and worksite teams around a master plan, giving both visibility into a unified schedule and the task data needed to do the right work in the right place at the right time. So, if an HVAC installation should change because of a supply chain issue, the project manager will automatically receive the updated schedule information and can coordinate any needed adjustments across all impacted teams. Likewise, the platform gives capital planners accurate, timely data on project forecasts so they can align with managers on budget requirements and adjust as strategic priorities change. For example, inflation doubles the costs of a required set of materials on a project. The project manager can push those new actuals and forecast up to the planner who can perform just-in-time changes to the portfolio, possibly pulling funds from a less important project, or putting a project on hold. And as the platform continually learns and gets smarter using machine learning technologies, it will take these past actions into consideration to flag potential risks and guide more informed decision making in the future. These are just a few of the many connected experiences the platform can deliver by: Providing up-to-date schedule data to project managers so they can keep teams aligned to planned delivery dates and other schedule requirements Uniting planning (CPM schedule) with worksite teams (task schedule) to minimize wasted time and resources Letting capital planning and project execution teams exchange budget and actual cost data, enabling both teams to confidently adjust as work progresses Automatically storing completed bid/tender packages as well as approved invoices and other payment materials in organizations' document registers Giving all stakeholders visibility to collectively track progress, identify and mitigate risks, and efficiently manage change across the entire supply chain "Oracle has helped us improve coordination, visibility, and control during project development, The ability to further connect our teams, processes, and data across applications and all project phases will increase efficiency while providing our people with the information needed to readily manage change as we work to deliver critical energy assets." -Weronika Nowak, document control and IT manager for Mayflower Wind. About Oracle Construction and Engineering: Asset owners and project delivery teams rely on Oracle Construction and Engineering solutions for the visibility and control, connected supply chain, and data security needed to drive performance and mitigate risk across their processes, projects, and organization. Our scalable cloud construction management software solutions enable digital transformation for teams that plan, build, and operate critical assets, improving efficiency, collaboration, and change control across the project lifecycle. www.oracle.com/construction-and-engineering.

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CONSTRUCTION

Construction Procurement Platform Kojo Improves Inventory Management for Contractors With New Digital Solution

Kojo | August 17, 2022

the construction industry's leading procurement platform – today announced its new warehouse inventory management offering. Kojo Warehouse is the first and only solution for contractors to track and manage their warehouse material inventory in real-time. The offering provides visibility into both general and job-specific warehouse stock, at any time, from anywhere. "Contractors have lacked true visibility into their warehouses for too long, We've heard from customers that they need a streamlined, efficient way to manage their warehouses and take control over the current instability in the industry. Kojo's Warehouse is the first solution that ensures contractors have immediate insight into their material inventory, and empowers them to reduce costs and cut waste." -Maria Rioumine, CEO and founder of Kojo. Increasing construction costs, material and labor shortages, and supply chain constraints are putting contractors at risk of going over budget or completing projects late. These challenges, paired with tedious and error-prone warehouse management practices, such as pen-and-paper notes or Excel sheets, result in contractors wasting money, time, and materials. Kojo's Warehouse solution empowers contractors to streamline their inventory management system and procure the materials they need faster. By connecting the warehouse, office, field teams, and vendors on one platform, Kojo gives contractors real-time visibility into what they have in their warehouse, while making it easy to request quotes and make purchases with vendors for materials they need. "With Kojo's Warehouse solution, our team now has transparency into what materials are available for our jobsites – whether we're in the field, office or the warehouse, a full-service electrical, heating, cooling, plumbing, and alarm contractor. "By not having to order material that has already been purchased, we are saving a significant amount of time and money, and staying on budget." -Gary Philips, president at Premier Service Company Inc. Utilizing Kojo Warehouse, contractors can better manage their warehouse materials to make smarter purchasing decisions and reduce the time it takes to deliver materials to the jobsite. This helps contractors become more resilient to challenges such as backorders and delivery delays, high prices for last-minute orders, and material waste. Kojo Warehouse also creates additional cost savings by empowering contractors to increase buyouts and bulk orders. About Kojo: Kojo, the construction industry's leading procurement platform, enables trade and self-perform general contractors to take control of their margins by consolidating the procurement process onto one, all-inclusive digital platform. By connecting the field, office, warehouse, accounting teams, and vendors, contractors gain visibility into real-time materials spending and usage, streamline workflows, and increase labor productivity. Contractors have access to a network of thousands of vendors to source the best prices and availability, find cost savings and reduce material waste. Kojo is trusted by hundreds of contractors and utilized by thousands of construction professionals across the country every day.

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