Office of the Director of National Intelligence, to Lead National AI Engineering Initiative

Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute | October 15, 2020

The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University, with funding and guidance from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), will lead a national initiative to advance the discipline of artificial intelligence (AI) engineering for defense and national security. As the Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) increasingly invest in AI, they have prioritized safe, ethical, and secure solutions. Current AI solutions, which are often speedily deployed and difficult to replicate, verify, and validate, could lead to a landscape far from the DoD's vision. With the sponsorship of ODNI, the SEI will establish and lead an AI Engineering Initiative that will guide the development of a multi-year research and development roadmap and develop capabilities based on partners' core competencies. ODNI and the SEI initiated this effort in response to a growing call for an engineering discipline for AI. An engineering discipline will provide the ability to thoughtfully develop, integrate, and evolve AI solutions with a focus on safety, security, robustness, reliability, resiliency, and ethics. Recent reports have highlighted the need for AI engineering, including the Defense Innovation Board's AI Principles report, which recommended an effort to "cultivate and grow the field of AI engineering." The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence specifically referenced this ODNI–SEI effort in its Second Quarter 2020 Recommendations, saying that this work will benefit the creation of an AI testing framework.

Spotlight

Here’s a graphic created by Dessault Systems/Solidworks, and it’s particularly gratifying to see that design methodologies, particularly how visuals are handled, are clearly listed in red boxes defining each period, while examples of major design milestones are displayed in simple drawings above.


Other News
CONSTRUCTION

British tunnelling start-up hyperTunnel backed by VINCI

hyperTunnel | June 14, 2022

hyperTunnel, the British underground construction innovator, has received a financial investment from VINCI, a global leader in concessions, energy and construction businesses. The funds will be used for business expansion and to further develop and test hyperTunnel's revolutionary construction method in practical situations. The deal further strengthens hyperTunnel's connections with VINCI Construction technical departments. hyperTunnel recently joined VINCI's innovation platform Leonard as a member of its start-up accelerator programme, Catalyst. hyperTunnel also won the prestigious annual Construction Start-up Competition in Miami last year, which Leonard co-organises with other sector heavyweights such as Ferrovial and Cemex Ventures. "hyperTunnel's technology can be truly game-changing when it comes to improving the safety and sustainability of underground construction projects," said Guillaume Bazouin, Head of Start-up and Intrapreneurs programs at Leonard. "It strongly aligns with our goals of rapidly responding to the climate emergency by enabling technological advances that have a substantial environmental impact. hyperTunnel also boasts exceptional leadership and engineering teams, and we are looking to support their great success in the near future." VINCI and Leonard are real experts when it comes to construction innovation, so to get their backing in such a concrete and substantial way means we must be doing something right. They can see the huge potential of the technologies we're developing, and they share our passion for improving how the world works. We're excited to see what we can achieve together over the coming months." Jeremy Hammond,hyperTunnel co-founder Aquaa Partners acted as exclusive financial adviser to hyperTunnel on the transaction. Last week, the European Innovation Council (EIC), Europe's flagship innovation programme to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and game-changing innovations, selected hyperTunnel to receive funding of 1.88 million Euros under its EIC Accelerator scheme. The funding will be used to complete the development of hyperTunnel's advanced swarm robotics underground construction platform. About hyperTunnel hyperTunnel is a deep tech scale-up developing a revolutionary methodology for tunnels and underground schemes substantially faster, safer, more economically and more environmentally friendly than current techniques. hyperTunnel uses a unique combination of proven technologies from diverse industries – digital twins, robotics, 3D-printing and digital underground surveying, supported by AI and VR – to redefine possibilities in tunnel construction, enlargement, monitoring and repair. Founded in 2018, hyperTunnel employs 40 people located at its Basingstoke headquarters, and outdoor learning environment (the hOLE) and Geolab in the North Hampshire Downs. In 2021, hyperTunnel announced a contract with Network Rail. hyperTunnel has received a string of awards and funding of 1.88 m Euros from the European Innovation Council (EIC)'s EIC Accelerator scheme. hyperTunnel was recently picked by the government's Innovate UK agency to join its Global Business Innovation Programme. It won Startup of the Year at this year's Construction Technology Awards; was highlighted as a Top 50 Contech Startup and among 10 winners of the global Construction Startup Competition.

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ENGINEERING TECH

Tamarack Grove Engineering Selects Unanet for CRM to Help Manage Customer Pipeline

Unanet | May 26, 2022

Unanet, the leading provider of project-based ERP and CRM for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, announced today that Tamarack Grove Engineering, a leading structural engineering and design firm with more than 2,500 projects each year throughout North America, has selected Unanet CRM AEC. Tamarack Grove expects Unanet CRM to enable widespread collaboration across project teams that will grow the business by potentially doubling their current customers and prospects. Tamarack Grove Engineering is a Boise-based structural engineering and design firm that specializes in manufacturing, commercial, and facilities markets including fast food restaurants and grocery chains. It also specializes in natural disaster evaluation, restoration, and maintenance for facilities. As a Unanet ERP AE customer for approximately three years, Tamarack Grove found that as they continued to rapidly grow, they needed a CRM solution to effectively manage existing and new client relationships, and provide visibility into the company's project pipeline to help shape strategic direction and understand the resources needed for potential projects. "Unanet ERP had positively transformed our productivity and profitability over the last three years. When we realized that we outgrew our rudimentary CRM system and needed a robust CRM solution, we immediately looked at Unanet, Unanet has already provided huge value to us on the ERP side, and the CRM had received positive reviews from other AEC firms. Now our ERP and CRM tools will be integrated in one, easy-to-access solution and we have a platform that we are all familiar with." Duncan Robertson, director of business development and marketing at Tamarack Grove Engineering Tamarack is implementing its CRM quickly, which is another advantage Unanet offers over competitive products. Once implemented, Unanet will give Tamarack a variety of benefits it needs to succeed in growing its business including the ability to: Simplify and coordinate new leads and existing client data entry and management through Microsoft Outlook Easily scan in the company's vast, incoming new contacts and leads through the business card scanner feature Manage customer relationships and information around projects to effectively direct teams, partners, and resources More than 1,850 architecture, engineering and construction companies like Tamarack Grove Engineering select Unanet ERP and CRM because they have the right mix of functionality and accessibility, while also offering the ability to scale and grow seamlessly. About Unanet Unanet is a leading provider of project-based ERP and CRM solutions purpose-built for Government Contractors, architecture, engineering, construction, and professional services. More than 3,400 project-driven organizations depend on Unanet to turn their information into actionable insights, drive better decision-making, and accelerate business growth. All backed by a people-centered team invested in the success of your projects, people, and financials. For more information, visit www.unanet.com. About Tamarack Grove Engineering Tamarack Grove Engineering is a Boise-based, leading structural engineering and design firm with more than 2,500 projects throughout North America. The company specializes in manufacturing, commercial, and facilities markets. For more information, visit www.tamarackgrove.com. Founded in 2003, the company's mission is to serve clients by providing responsive, safe and trusted solutions with the highest quality, most dependable engineering and design services while providing an environment for its team members to grow.

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MATERIALS

Holcim to Acquire Malarkey Roofing Products

Holcim | December 27, 2021

Holcim (Paris:HOLN) has signed an agreement to acquire Malarkey Roofing Products, a leading company in the US residential roofing market with projected 2022 Net Sales of USD 600 million and EBITDA of USD 120 million. Malarkey Roofing Products has a track record of double-digit growth in the highly profitable USD 19 billion US residential roofing market. Malarkey is fully complementary to Firestone Building Products’ leadership in the commercial segment, positioning Holcim as a full roofing provider. Malarkey’s strong brand recognition is driven by its leadership in innovation and sustainability with a highly circular business model. Jan Jenisch, CEO: “We are off to a strong start to our ‘Strategy 2025 – Accelerating Green Growth’ with the acquisition of Malarkey Roofing Products, expanding our Solutions & Products business to become a global leader in roofing systems. I congratulate the Malarkey family for what they have achieved and am committed to investing in the company’s continued success to unleash its next era of growth together. Our companies are highly complementary with many upsides. I am impressed by the Malarkey brand, the innovative technology, the great network of production facilities and, most importantly, purpose driven employees who are vital for the company’s sustainable growth and national expansion plan. I am excited to further strengthen the Malarkey brand and legacy and welcome all employees and sites into the Holcim family.” “We couldn’t be more thrilled. For decades, we’ve sought a company that agrees with our vision, aligns with our values, and can help us accelerate our growth strategy. Today, we found it in Holcim. Like Malarkey, Holcim has a strong focus on driving the circular economy and leading the transition towards sustainable construction. It’s a very exciting time for both brands. To our employees, customers, partners, contractors, and friends, who continue to support our company and mission, thank you! You’ve witnessed first-hand the market’s rapid acceptance of our unique value proposition. With Holcim’s knowledge and resources, we can extend that value proposition to even more consumers. We’re just getting started.” -Gregory Malarkey, President of Malarkey Roofing Jamie Gentoso, Global Head of Solutions & Products: With Malarkey Roofing Products we enter the highly profitable and fast-growing residential roofing market, driven by repair and refurbishment as well as shifting customer preferences towards more sustainable and resilient building materials. With a track record of double-digit growth for the past ten years, Malarkey is a proven growth engine for expanding our range of roofing systems from commercial to residential. This transaction is valued at USD 1.35 billion, to be financed with 100% cash. Synergies of USD 40 million per year are expected on a run-rate basis to be realized by year three. The acquisition is earnings per share (EPS) accretive from the first year. Malarkey Roofing Products was founded by Herbert Malarkey in 1956 and is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. It provides complete solutions for residential roofing needs from roofing shingles to ice and water barriers. With production facilities in Oregon, California and Oklahoma, Malarkey Roofing Products has a strong presence from the West to the South of the US that is highly complementary with Firestone Building Products’ footprint. The acquisition advances Holcim’s “Strategy 2025 – Accelerating Green Growth” with the goal to expand its Solutions & Products business to 30% of Group Net Sales by 2025, entering the most attractive construction segments, from roofing and insulation to repair and refurbishment. The transaction is in line with Holcim’s commitment to strict financial discipline and is subject to customary conditions and regulatory clearance in the United States. It is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. About Holcim Holcim builds progress for people and the planet. As a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, Holcim is enabling greener cities, smarter infrastructure and improving living standards around the world. With sustainability at the core of its strategy Holcim is becoming a net zero company, with its people and communities at the heart of its success. The company is driving the circular economy as a world leader in recycling to build more with less. Holcim is the company behind some of the world’s most trusted brands in the building sector including ACC, Aggregate Industries, Ambuja Cement, Disensa, Firestone Building Products, Geocycle, Holcim and Lafarge. Holcim is 70,000 people around the world who are passionate about building progress for people and the planet through four business segments: Cement, Ready-Mix Concrete, Aggregates and Solutions & Products.

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ENGINEERING TECH

MetaEstate Announced to Continue to Purchase More Sandbox Estates to Promote the Implementation of the "Digital Utopia" Plan

MetaEstate | December 29, 2021

MetaEstate, a world-famous metaverse construction service provider, announced that since the beginning of 2021, it has successively purchased more than 200 estates from the open metaverse platform The Sandbox, including 6x6, 3x3 and other large estates, and will continue to purchase more estates. Calculated by the average price, these estates are currently worth nearly US$3 million. In November, the Sandbox raised US$93 million in a Series B funding round led by Softbank Vision Fund 2. On November 23, The Sandbox announced on its official Twitter account that Adidas Originals acquired a plot of virtual land in The Sandbox metaverse. Recently, the land price and transaction volume of The Sandbox have also increased significantly. In the last two months, the total transaction volume of The Sandbox estate has increased by about 7 times, and the total number of transactions has increased by about 4 times. The average price of the land has increased from about US$3465 in early November to about US$13918. MetaEstate is a world-famous metaverse construction service provider, focusing on providing metaverse construction services and enriching metaverse content construction. It provides professional services in various metaverses, such as reasonable land planning, building excellent buildings, introducing well-known IPs, developing and usage scenarios, and carrying out market activities. According to Jackey, co-founder of MetaEstate, said that while having already possessed 200 estates, MetaEstate will continue to purchase more estates. Some estates purchased by MetaEstate will be put into use in the "Digital Utopia" plan to build "Digital Utopia" series towns. The "Digital Utopia" plan is an experimental plan proposed by MetaEstate. In the "Digital Utopia" project, MetaEstate will build a series of fully functional towns to make them close to reality. In these towns, residents can possess their own land and buildings and manage them in a decentralized manner. MetaEstate also said that it would gradually announce the planning and construction plan for The Sandbox estates it holds in the near future.

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Spotlight

Here’s a graphic created by Dessault Systems/Solidworks, and it’s particularly gratifying to see that design methodologies, particularly how visuals are handled, are clearly listed in red boxes defining each period, while examples of major design milestones are displayed in simple drawings above.

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