AU 2023 Day 3 Recap: Top Construction Sessions That You Might Have Missed

Day 3 marks the completion of Autodesk University 2023, and it was undoubtedly one to remember. Three days of informative, thought-provoking, and collaborative sessions to help you do your work better, faster, and smarter. If you couldn’t attend AU in person, rest assured. You can find many of this week's sessions on demand here.

Don’t forget to check out Day 3 of our Digital Builder podcast’s AU recap episode.

You can also watch highlights from Day 3 from attendee Ariel Castillo, Innovation Director at Miller-Davis Company:

Top Construction Sessions and Highlights

Today’s sessions covered many interesting topics, from how to improve the way you work, to discussions of trust and women in construction. Here are some of the top construction sessions that you may have missed out on day 3.

The Hardest Worker on a Construction Project: A Working Mom

This session was moderated by Meredith Obendorfer, Director, Strategic Communications, Autodesk and joined by panelists Jennifer Suerth, SVP, Virtual Construction, MEP & Operations, Pepper Construction, Karima Maloney, Senior Project Manager, Suffolk Construction, Ruhi Thakur, Project Manager, Webcor Builders, and Savy Francis, Journeyman Pipefitter, E.M. Duggan, Boston Pipefitters LU537.

This incredible and thought providing session was inspired by Meredith’s own experience of becoming a working mother and so she wanted to explore the challenges and experience of construction workers in a similar position.

Savy kicked off the discussion by sharing her experience of getting to work at 5 AM after she gets her daughter ready for daycare. After working hard all day, she picks up her daughter and resumes her role as mom when she gets home. While this transition from work to mom at home is exhausting, she thankfully has the support of her partner as tasks like cooking and cleaning are a team effort.

As the conversation continued, Meredith asked the panelists to share their experiences of coming back to work after having a baby.

Jennifer shared that she looked forward to returning to work and that it gave her a sense of normalcy. She explained she knew that being a working mom made her a better mom. However, she acknowledged that, like many mothers, she still experienced moments of guilt. Initially, she was concerned about how others would perceive her upon returning to work. Eventually, she has had to embrace the fact that she is different which has been an eye-opening experience.

Ruhi followed up by sharing her excitement for returning to work. She has been working at Webcor for a long time and loves her job, so she wondered how her transition back to work would be and if people would treat her differently. To ensure a seamless transition, she created a comprehensive plan with her colleagues and her company was very supportive.

Ultimately, the panelists discovered that their employers are much more understanding than they initially thought, especially in a male-dominated industry. As women, we often don’t give ourselves more grace and still feel the need to make the case that we deserve to be there.

Building Trust in an Industry That’s Actively Avoiding It, Revisited

This session was moderated by David Joslin, Applied Tech Manager, Gilbane, joined by panelists Fanny Angeles, TD Site BIM Project Manager, Intel, Robert Yori, Digital Solutions Studio Leader, AECOM, and Ryan Shults, Project Manager, Gilbane. This discussion explored various situations in which trust plays a crucial role in the construction lifecycle. Situations included trusting your work colleagues and subcontractors, as well as trusting technology in general.

Fanny initiated the discussion by contemplating the origins of trust in relationships. She emphasized that trust usually first emerges from shared values. Even if all the evidence and indicators point towards trusting someone, hesitation and distrust may persist if there is a lack of shared values.

Ryan brought up the importance of creating an agreement or contract to solidify and protect trust. This approach ensures that in the event of any issues or misunderstandings, everyone involved can refer back to a written document rather than relying on a verbal agreement made with a handshake.

Robert added that having a certain level of consistency and integrity is a good way to build trust in your company. However, there are times when issues are unavoidable, and the best way to avoid a loss of trust is to be open and communicate your issues just as much as you communicate your successes.

On-Demand: Racing to AU: Pushing Construction Boundaries with Autodesk Construction Cloud at Formula 1 Speed

This weekend, the Las Vegas Strip will transform for an unforgettable race for the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix. The journey to build such an incredible feat is a story in itself. Cliff Cole, VDC Director and Matt Rodgers, VDC Manager at the PENTA Building Group told this story in an AU session this week.

From tight deadlines to dynamic changes to the design, you can get a front-row seat to how Penta approached this exciting but complex project in an on-demand session. Watch now.

Advanced Bridging in Autodesk Construction Cloud

Led by Hayes Johnson, VDC Manager at BL Harbert International's Domestic Division, this session explored the current state of model coordination and highlighted ways Autodesk Bridge has effectively addressed some of the most significant challenges faced by the industry.

Hayes began his session with a brief overview of model coordination and how industry solutions like Autodesk Bridge are democratizing BIM coordination. As the industry is migrating to new platforms and tools, old ways of working and methods are still wasting team's time.

Hayes highlighted how Autodesk Bridge simplifies processes by facilitating file and drawing transfers between Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC) users. He emphasized that both parties must be utilizing ACC for Bridge to function effectively.

He then discussed two options for enabling file sharing via Bridge. The first option is a Bridge connection between Projects, while the second option involves having a project admin from the other project add you.

After he explained the practical application of Bridge in projects, Hayes shared a couple of case studies highlighting firms' success using the tool. One such case study featured RJ Mechanical, a mechanical and plumbing contractor that utilized ACC to store models. By leveraging Bridge for Autodesk Build, they were able to coordinate three buildings simultaneously.

See You at AU Next Year!

Day 3 concludes the exciting events of Autodesk University, but don’t worry, the fun doesn’t have to end there. You can check out many of the sessions that took place on-demand or on our social channels so that you can relive the experience again.

We were so happy to see your faces and look forward to seeing you again next year! Want to be first to know when call for speaker proposals and registration opens? Subscribe to our blog for updates!

Alexa De La Parra Ramirez

Content & Communications Coordinator, Autodesk Construction Solutions