AEC industries are poised on the brink of some exciting new technological developments, and the faster companies can adapt to them, the better. We asked two of our engineering experts on the Pinnacle Series team what they see as the biggest technological advancements in engineering for 2021 and beyond. Their answers, along with other insights from the industry, are featured here!
Here are six of the best technological advancements in engineering for AEC industries to explore this year:
Get the scoop on these technological advancements in engineering below.
Don Quinn, our civil technology manager, pinpoints the recent pandemic as a catalyst for new developments in cloud technology.
“The increased demand for virtual teams drastically accelerates the need for cloud technology, whether it be to perform powerful computational tasks, collaborate on projects, or to simply provide greater accessibility to project files,” he says.
Moving more technology to the cloud now enables easier collaboration and positions companies to update their software more easily in the future. As Quinn adds, “It keeps us current on the newest and greatest software and service offerings.”
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are quickly becoming invaluable tools for AEC firms. They’re particularly handy in CAD applications, allowing engineers to display and visualize their designs at full scale and present them to clients. Check out this Autodesk article to explore some fascinating AR applications for site modeling, connecting office and field staff, superimposing 3D models into physical spaces, and more.
“Complex designs often lead to complex discussions around coordination between building design, engineering, and construction professionals who cannot necessarily be in the same office when the discussion takes place,” Quinn explains. “Using VR tools can greatly assist the conversation, making the problems and solutions for coordination issues clearer.”
Although civil engineering seems a world apart from cybersecurity engineering, there is overlap. Engineering is more of a digital field today than ever before, so it’s a boon for civil engineers to have cybersecurity knowledge to protect sensitive infrastructure information and intellectual property. Every modern engineering firm should invest in equipping their employees with basic information about information security to reduce the risk of attacks.
The age of smart robots has arrived, and they’re already getting to work driving technological advancements in engineering! Some of the practical AI applications for engineers include automatic CAD design optimization, materials selection, compliance checks, and tedious busywork. Engineering companies that are early adopters of this trend may find themselves reaping the rewards of greater accuracy and efficiency sooner than competitors.
5G technology is one of the advancements that’s making other innovations possible. Lightning-speed connectivity allows for faster data transfers, better remote collaboration, the ability to use virtual modeling (e.g., AR tech) in the field, and more. Upgrading your team’s tech to 5G will help your company stay on the cutting edge.
Another consequence of the pandemic is that everyone is conscious about crowds, germs, and confined spaces. That’s why our Building Technology Manager, Chad Close, foresees 3D modeling being used to design better airflow systems to ensure the safety of large groups attending indoor events.
“The use of cloud computation to understand airflow for new and existing facilities will be valuable for other contagious diseases and proper ventilation of indoor spaces,” he says.
How can you prepare to capitalize on these opportunities and future-proof your organization?
“Large organizations traditionally have set aside resources to study and implement emerging technologies,” Close notes. “Mid-size and smaller organizations will need to invest in their employees to a greater extent to make sure that relevant technology that can help them compete is discovered, implemented, and improved upon in their projects.”
If you’re a current Pinnacle Series customer, you can set your employees up for success with emerging technologies today with our expansive library of training content. Log in now or check out our updates page to see the latest available training.
If you’re not a current customer, we’d love to show you how Pinnacle Series can serve as your organization’s ultimate source of AEC knowledge! Our software was built by engineers, for engineers, and we’re passionate about monitoring the latest industry advancements and developing training to help you leverage them too. Reach out to schedule a demo of Pinnacle Series today.