As at each Congress, at the 2009 SEI/ASCE Structures Congress in Austin, Texas, participants select the presentation they found to be the "Best of the Best" among those offered during the three days of technical sessions. This year’s winner for best presentation was BIM Evolution & the Structural Engineering Creator: Where the Profession and Your Firm Stand as SE Roles Expand by William F. Ikerd, II, P.E., Dallas, Texas.
For the second year in a row, Mr. William Ikerd, II won the Best Presentation Award at the 2009 Structures Congress with his presentation on Building Information Modeling (BIM). Currently Director of the Integrated Project Delivery Department for Raymond L. Goodson Jr., Inc (Dallas), Ikerd is widely known as an industry leader in the area of BIM and Integrated Project Delivery.
The session focused on the theme of keeping evolution in mind when considering Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the engineer’s expanding role as the virtual structural creator in the genesis of a project. As BIM technology evolves, the structural engineering profession has the opportunity to create and embrace new paradigms and business models. Some of these new models could include integrated services in BIM for those who are in multidiscipline firms. Other possible roles could include digitally passing the structural engineers design intent model downstream as the starting point of the detailer’s fabrication model. The pioneering successes of the steel industry in this area of downstream integration are quickly being followed by work in precast concrete and reinforcing steel automation. Additionally, innovative general contracting firms are utilizing structural engineering models in preconstruction for estimating and project
scheduling. All of these and many more evolutions from the traditional design process have provided opportunities for structural engineers to expand their roles in the process. However, what are the risks and challenges to the changes? What are other firms doing? What should my firm be doing? How do we leverage our strengths and compensate for our weaknesses? How do we prepare for the changes, and possibly lead them?
The panel discussion addressed these questions surrounding the evolution of BIM. Trends in BIM were presented from an international perspective as they relate to new business models for structural engineers. The content also highlighted data from the first national BIM survey for structural engineers by non-profit organizations committed to furthering the profession of structural engineering. Finally, the presentation discussed how you can create a plan to move your firm forward as it evolves from where it currently is with BIM (even if the next step is to try BIM for the first time!).
With BIM quickly emerging as the project delivery method of choice, Ikerd’s presentation was well-attended and provided vital information. Tapping into his years of experience in structural design, management, and construction of building projects, his passion for the subject and his ability to deliver the message, his presentation was engaging, reinvigorating, and most importantly informative. Those are traits that undoubtedly won him the Best Presentation award this year. With his determination and passion in BIM, the challenge is on for Best Presentation in 2010.▪