Behind the Build: Interview with Shola Yusuf, Project Engineer at Armstrong Air

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The willingness to embrace technology and the aptitude to learn technical skills are some of the most valuable characteristics you can have as a construction professional today. The world is moving at an incredibly rapid pace and in order to stay ahead, firms must adopt tools that enable them to work smarter, faster, and with greater accuracy. 

Project Engineer Shola Yusuf has seen first-hand just how game-changing technology can be in the construction industry. Shola specializes in mechanical engineering at Armstrong Air and Heat, an HVAC company that provides cooling and heating solutions to commercial and residential properties. 

We recently caught up with Shola and asked him to talk more about his career and how technology has made an impact on his role.

Let’s dive in!

Tell me a little bit about Armstrong Air and what you specialize in.

Armstrong is a contractor that specializes in HVAC installation for both residential and commercial properties. Our mission is to continue satisfying the customer and make clients happy. We are also LEED-certified.

Walk us through your career and what led you to becoming Project Engineer.

I began my career as a mechanical engineer back from school in Africa, Nigeria. I started at one of the leading consulting firms in Nigeria, where I acquired skills in design and MEP. From there, I moved to Mar & Mor where I gained experience in project management. Now I'm here in Armstrong as a project engineer who liaises with both internal and external stakeholders.

As a project engineer, I analyze the project specifications and the development of work schedules. I also coordinate plans and work with project managers and preconstruction teams.

What is your proudest accomplishment in your career at Armstrong Air? Why? 

My proudest accomplishment has always been my ability to be productive. I strive to support the project management team to meet all their requirements and requests. Ultimately, I’m proud to help our teams accomplish the organization's goal: to make our customers happy by delivering good products and services. I truly get a lot of enjoyment from that.

As construction evolves, how do you see the role of Project Engineer changing?

I believe the construction sector will continue revolving around technology. So those entering the industry would need to continually acquire more technical skills. In the next five years, I'm expecting to see a lot of high-tech innovation—more than what we have right now.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your role? How does technology help you overcome those challenges?

One of the greatest challenges I'm facing in my role is dealing with time—or the lack of it. You now have less time to accomplish a lot of things. With the help of software, you can multitask more and achieve a lot within a short period. 

If you are handling five, six, or ten projects with your software, you can analyze and manage them easily. 

Software and technology have simplified things, making it easy for people to work. It has decreased the amount of time required to deliver a lot of projects. 

Speaking of Autodesk Construction Cloud products, why are you excited about implementing Autodesk Build over the next few months?

Autodesk Construction Cloud helps you work more effectively, so you can be more efficient and profitable. Tools like Autodesk enable teams to work more effectively and thus, breaking the barrier of time delivery. 

In terms of features, I like RFI and Issues because they make things easier to track. I also like the reports. When you log into a particular project, you can easily track the progress of work. 

When it comes to detail, Autodesk's Cost Management module has an edge over competitors. With Autodesk, you can see a lot of detail. That's one of the reasons we selected it over other competitors. We like how the budget synchronizes with cost, change orders, and forecasting. We can easily track where change orders affect the scope of our work.

"When it comes to detail, Autodesk's Cost Management module has an edge over competitors."

Armstrong has always been committed to delivering quality projects to our clients. And we have seen Autodesk as one of the tools necessary for us to continue delivering high-quality work. That’s one of the reasons we partnered with Autodesk.

When you think about the future, what are your plans to advance innovation and productivity at Armstrong Air?

It’s always been a principle of Armstrong to advance technology and innovation. We’ll continue focusing on tools and technologies that enable us to get ahead of our competitors, deliver good products, and make our customers happy. That’s why we’re always analyzing which tools are better or which solutions enable us to be faster, deliver more efficiently, and be more productive.

What advice would you give to the next generation of men and women entering and preparing for the future of the industry?

It’s all about technology. If you’re entering this industry, you must ensure you acquire a lot of technical skills and continue updating yourself with the latest technologies and innovations.

Kelsee Campbell

As a Senior Customer Advocacy Program Manager at Autodesk, Kelsee has the privilege of working with Autodesk customers to champion their stories on the Digital Builder Blog. Kelsee strives to create an engaging experience that amplifies customer perspectives, fostering a sense of community and connection.