Skip to main content
January 29, 2024

Best of AU 2023 Awards: Top-Rated Classes and Speakers




We live and work in a time of rapid transformation—and learning is how we adapt. The Best of AU 2023 Class Awards celebrate the power of professional learning for those in the Design and Make industries—and the presenters that make it possible.    


Winners were selected based on class survey data and attendee comments. To keep data equal regardless of class size, they must meet a minimum survey response rate based on attendance. To be eligible, speakers had to submit all class materials required for their format (handout, presentation, video). 


You’ll see that they’re grouped by industry and broken out by the AU class formats, with additional categories for first-time speakers and Autodesk-led classes. In addition to the winners in our First-Time Speaker category, 16 first-time presenters took top honors in the other categories this year. 


Our winners represent ten countries. And it’s worth noting that many of our award-winners participated in the AU Speaker Mentor Program, matching presenters of all levels with experienced mentors who are experts in their field. We’d like to thank all our dedicated mentors for elevating our AU speakers this year. A list of other top-rated speakers from AU 2023 is at the bottom of the page.  


Without further ado, put your hands together for the Best of AU 2023!  



Top-Rated Sessions for AEC Design 


A Time Traveler’s Suitcase: Building Future Readiness to Navigate the Unknown (Roundtable)  

Speaker: Elliott Montgomery 


Automated Linework from a Point Cloud Using Linear Feature Extraction (Technical Instruction) 

Speaker: John Sayre 

Co-Speaker: Ramesh Sridharan 


BIM @ BIG: The Journey from Small to Big, and the Learnings Along the Way (Industry Talk) 

Speaker: Jens Majdal Kaarsholm 


BIMigration: Transforming AECO Through Immigration, Diversity, and Technology (Panel) 

Moderator: Shir (Erlich) Rustici 

Panelists: Nima Azad, Prateek Chitnis, Thesla Collier, Eve Lin 


Climate-Efficient Design in Revit with the Free TallyCAT Carbon Action Tool (Panel) 

Moderator: Marta Bouchard  

Panelists: Phil Northcott, Moses Scott 


End-to-end BIM Workflow for Rebar Detailing (Hands-on Lab) 

Speaker: Ovidiu Paunescu 

Co-Speaker: Tomasz Fudala 

Lab Assistants: Dan Peticila, Mihaela Stan 


GIS Essentials in CAD: Aerial Imagery, Terrain & Google Earth Visualization (Product Demo) 

Speaker: Nick Chanakoulas 


Grading Optimization: Making Choices that Benefit Automatic Grading (Product Demo) 

Speaker: Russ Nicloy 


Model Coordination: How Design Teams Have Moved Beyond the Light Table at PDX Airport (Case Study) 

Speaker: Michael Adams 

Co-Speaker: Chitt Kapadia 


Practical Application of InfraWorks for Bridge Modelling and Design (Technical Instruction) 

Speaker: Vaclav Hirsch 


Rhino vs. Forma? No, Rhino + Forma! (Technical Instruction) 

Speaker: Kevin Walsh  

Co-Speaker: Krzysztof Jedrzejewski 


Smart Infrastructure for a Better Future: The Digital Thread in Action (Panel) 

Moderator: Marc Goldman 

Panelists: Aaron Chamberlin, Mark Counts, Michael LaFontaine, Patrick Lane Jr., Guy Michael 


The Unofficial CAD Manager (Roundtable) 

Speaker: Derek Gauer 

Co-Speaker: Ted Martin 



Top-Rated Sessions for Construction 


Being Transgender in the Construction Industry (Roundtable) 

Speaker: Nicole Akin 

Co-Speakers: Lilie Klar, Julianne Ratliff 


BIG VDC, Small Projects: Adapt People, Process, and Tech for Small Projects (Industry Talk) 

Speaker: Dustin Ridley 

Co-Speaker: Ted Barnes 


Building the Future: Global Trends and Opportunities in the Construction Industry (Industry Talk) 

Speaker: Marcel Allweins 

Co-Speaker: Mojtaba Navid 


Connected Coordination (Hands-on Lab) 

Speaker: Deepak Maini 

Lab Assistants: Shashwat Bhardwaj, Snezhina Shukina, Filippo Vittori 


From Zero to Hero: Streamlining Estimating with ProEst (Technical Instruction) 

Speaker: Ariel Castillo 

Co-Speakers: Richard Antczak, Stuart Williams 


INDOT: Autodesk Construction Cloud on Major Project I-69 Finish Line (Case Study) 

Speaker: Andrew Pangallo 


Optimizing Project Delivery: Mercury Engineering's Journey from BIM 360 Next Gen to Autodesk Construction Cloud, incorporating ISO19650 (Case Study) 

Speaker: Natasha Renwick-Curran 

Co-Speaker: Shannon Brown  



Top-Rated Sessions for Design & Manufacturing  


A Factory Design Utilities Discussion with Peers on a Successful Deployment (Roundtable) 

Speaker: Todd Schmoock 

Co-Speaker: Kevin Smedley 


Ask the Vault Team (Roundtable) 

Speaker: Senthil Kumar 

Co-Speaker: Jason Dai 


Autodesk Fusion 360 for Furniture, Millwork, and Woodworkers (Case Study) 

Speaker: Jeffrey McGrew 


Five Autodesk Inventor iLogic productivity hacks for non-programmers! (Hands-on Lab) 

Speaker: Paul Munford 

Lab Assistants: Jim Byrne, Tiffany Hayden, Edwin Robledo, Gareth Spencer, Mike Thomas, Curtis Waguespack 


How Turn/Mill Machines and Fusion 360 Help Rivian Increase Throughput (Industry Talk) 

Speaker: Matthew Yates 

Co-Speakers: Chris Cole, Josh Postell, Michael Grenier 


The Fusion Digital Thread Through Autodesk Fusion 360, Upchain, Fusion 360 Manage, and Prodsmart (Product Demo) 

Speaker: Michael Pares 

Co-Speakers: Greg Lemons, Jason Dupree, Nick Narzinski, Ryan Johnson 


Tips and Tricks: Get the Most Out of Configurations in Fusion 360 (Hands-on Lab) 

Speaker: Sami Go 

Co-Speaker: Victoria Studley 

Lab Assistants: Shubham Ghorpade, Karina Harper, James Krenisky, James Mann 


Up and Running with Inventor Nastran: Tops Tips and Workflows (Technical Instruction) 

Speaker: Wasim Younis 


Vault Now and in the Future (Product Demo) 

Speaker: Irvin Hayes 

Co-Speaker: Yogeshwar Gandhe 


Vault Shining on Clouded Days (Case Study) 

Speaker: Joshua Wilson 

Co-Speaker: Carlos Caminos 



Top-Rated Sessions for Additional Industries and Audiences 


Autodesk Construction Cloud: BIM 360 Template Development to ISO 19650 Standards and More (Industry Talk) 

Speaker: Greg Smith 

Co-Speaker: Richard Payne 


Booleans: True or False? (Technical Instruction) 

Speaker: Stephen Gabriel 


Easy and Fun Student Projects Using Fusion 360, Tinkercad, and More (Technical Instruction) 

Speaker: Lydia Cline 


Going Beyond Boundaries: How Allyship Fuels Inclusion (Panel) 

Moderator: Cordero Davis 

Panelists: Brandon Cramer, Elissa Flandro, Athena Moore, Kassidi Sorensen 


How to Save Thousands of Grading Hours with Automation of Fusion 360 Learning and Assessment (Case Study) 

Speaker: Jay Sahnan 

Co-Speaker: Anirudh Vadiyampeta 


Is Immersive Animation the Ultimate Interface for Content Creators? (Panel) 

Moderator: Hilmar Koch 

Panelists: Maximilian Lauter, Brian Pene, Varun Rajpurohit, Lance Thornton, Qian Zhou 


Maker Girl Mania: Inspiring Future STEM Leaders (Case Study) 

Speaker: Laura Kalinowski 

Co-Speaker: Amy Porter 



While the sessions above took top honors, many other speakers also received high ratings while meeting the criteria for eligibility, and we want to recognize their achievement: