Innovating Through Immense Challenges: Celebrating the 2020 AEC Excellence Awards Finalists

AEC Excellence Awards

Now more than ever, innovation and excellence are the lifeblood of the construction industry. Even in a year of unprecedented uncertainty, we’re still seeing construction professionals rise to the challenge of delivering imaginative and inspiring projects across the globe. The AEC Excellence Awards honors these professionals each year, and we’re excited to announce the 2020 finalists.

What Are the AEC Excellence Awards?

Now in its ninth year, the AEC Excellence Awards program honors the most innovative architecture, engineering, and construction projects around the world. Talent is at the heart of these awards, as the competition recognizes both the projects and people shaping the industry’s future. Presented in partnership with Informed Infrastructure and the Society for Marketing Professional Services, the annual awards highlight teams’ innovative solutions that bring groundbreaking projects to life and inspire other professionals to test the limits of what’s possible in the construction industry.

Announcing the AEC Excellence Awards 2020 Finalists

This year’s AEC Excellence Awards finalists have shown a truly remarkable dedication to innovation. From a field of 216 entries spanning 35 countries, an independent panel of judges created a shortlist of incredible projects. The finalists were selected across three categories: infrastructure design, building design, and construction. The list includes small, medium, and large-sized projects with budgets ranging from less than $1 million to more than $4 billion, highlighting the fact that industry-transforming work is happening at every scale and in every part of the world.

This year’s honored work also showcases adaptability and imaginative approaches to both novel and established issues affecting millions of people across the globe. From an emergency COVID-19 hospital constructed in just 10 days to a self-sustaining development on a floating island, these projects have addressed pressing global issues like the Coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and more. Other finalists include a cruise port in Panama, a baseball stadium in Japan, a cutting-edge data center in Dublin, the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America connecting the U.S. and Canada, the world’s largest balanced cantilever bridge in Norway, and the new home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. These innovative projects span the worlds of technology, sports and entertainment, transportation, housing, tourism, healthcare, and beyond.

For AEC’s Innovator of the Year award, 2020 has also offered up an incredible slate of contenders. This category, now in its third year, honors AEC professionals leading the charge on the industry’s digital transformation to reimagine design and construction practices for the future. Last year, the AEC Excellence Awards recognized Amr Raafat, Vice President of VDC and Technology at Windover Construction, as Innovator of the Year. Raafat’s creative approach to using technology, data processing, and practical application has led to the development of smarter, more productive buildings.


Like Raafat, the exceptional professionals shortlisted for this year’s award are innovating to create new workflows, leveraging data to find value, and informing regional protocols with their remarkable discoveries. This year’s Innovator of the Year nominees come from more than a dozen countries around the world, and represent a diverse array of organizations. From academia to the private sector, a disaster relief nonprofit to a transportation public official, these professionals bring an abundance of imaginative solutions to projects affecting countless people around the world.

In addition to meeting the talented professionals on our 2020 Innovator of the Year nominee list, you can learn more about all of this year’s AEC Excellence Awards finalists here.

We’re looking forward to announcing this year’s AEC Excellence Award winners in October, and celebrating their accomplishments with a featured video series at the Autodesk University global digital conference on November 17.

Continuing to Recognize Innovation in Construction

At Autodesk, we make recognizing industry-shaping work in architecture, engineering, and construction a top priority. This year has left us with no shortage of projects and professionals to honor that have embodied innovation and excellence, and since 2020 is not over yet, there are still a number of opportunities to recognize outstanding leaders in construction. One way to do this is via our 40 Under 40 program, honoring young innovators in the construction industry. These annual awards recognize both established and up-and-coming talent making a big impact in architecture, engineering, and construction across the globe. Nominate a talented construction professional by October 12 here.