AU 2023: Recognizing the Achievements of the AEC Industry

Mckenzie Price Mckenzie Price January 26, 2024

4 min read

Attendees at Autodesk University 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It’s back and better than ever: After a four-year absence, the AU Design & Make Conference returned to Las Vegas in mid-November 2023. It recorded one of the largest events in its history, with more than 12,000 in-person attendees and over 40,000 digital pass holders.

With the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry making up the largest portion of the conference, the AEC team loved hearing the success stories and challenges that are top of mind for industry professionals.

The conference brings together attendees from all over the globe to share insights, challenges, and solutions in real time. The 2023 event accomplished all that, and more.

Attendees could choose from more than 600 learning sessions with industry and product experts, including main-stage sessions, panel discussions, thought leadership presentations, and Autodesk product briefings and hands-on training. It was a lineup that elicited as much awe as the Sphere across the street.

By design, Autodesk University is a user conference for professionals to share their experiences and how they are solving their work challenges and issues, gaining inspiration for the next iterations of the infrastructure of the future.

“It’s about people trusting us and our software to do their jobs better, and for us to talk to experts in their field,” says Andy Mott, Autodesk Director of Marketing for water infrastructure solutions. “It’s about humanizing the work, and it’s easy to miss that.”

Back in Vegas style

Autodesk University 2023 attendees exploring the Expo hall.

The buzz was palpable in the Expo Hall Nov. 13-15, as attendees and exhibitors shared knowledge, asked questions, and connected with leaders in their respective fields.

One exhibition that drew the crowds was by Bridges to Prosperity (B2P), a non-profit dedicated to building trail bridges for isolated rural populations, primarily in East Africa. By using AutoCAD, the group has designed more than 50 bridges to help fight rural poverty due to lack of access to education, marketplaces, and healthcare.

Since 2020, B2P has maximized the benefits of Autodesk’s in-kind support, including not only the utilization of the Autodesk software but also technical training, ensuring that every one of the more than 500 bridges built worldwide were diligently designed.

“The amalgamation of AutoCAD’s efficiency with meticulous supply chain management is a testament to how we can harness technological tools to optimize costs while delivering high-quality infrastructure,” says Nicola Turrini, an engineer and B2P’s global corporate partnerships manager.

Personal learning and inspiration

More than 140 of the 600 sessions featured AEC content led by Autodesk customers and partners that demonstrated the difference Autodesk tools have made in society and around the world. Sessions ranged from industry talks to technical instructions. A few sessions & projects included:

For many attendees, there’s no better place to gather enthusiasm in the industry than the show floor and classrooms at AU.

“The energy of Autodesk users is infectious; it’s exciting to be with people who want us to be the best version of ourselves so they can do what they need to do to build a better world,” Mott says. “We get so much motivation from seeing how the work we do impacts real people.”

Many AEC pros at Autodesk University 2023 said they valued the opportunity to have face-to-face conversations with colleagues, sparking welcome insights and connections. Whether it’s confirming their business is on the right track or finding a new direction for success, inspiration awaited in every chance encounter and structured session.

Preparing for convergence

With the spotlight on the emerging presence of artificial intelligence (AI), the convergence of the physical and digital in the AEC arena was a hot topic across many sessions.

Autodesk announced Autodesk AI, a technology that unlocks creativity, helps solve problems, and eliminates non-productive work across the industries that design and make the world around us.

Autodesk AI is integrated and native to the Design and Make Platform, empowering users to boost productivity and equipping them with the tools to be more innovative and ambitious in their projects.

Autodesk AI is available in the AEC portfolio, including:

In addition, Autodesk’s Design and Make Platform, consisting of integrated software solutions and three industry clouds, Forma, Fusion, and Flow, unifies cross-industry data and workflows.

By taking an AI-first, data-driven approach to its platform, Autodesk is committed to delivering innovative solutions with speed and scale while paving the way for unprecedented customer advancements and breakthroughs. TCouldn’t attend AU 2023? Gain access to on-demand sessions and catch up with the latest innovations and industry trends at your convenience. With Autodesk, you can design and make anything.

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