C+S April 2021 Vol. 7 Issue 4 (web)

The first step is for the entire industry to embrace the inevitability of the transformation already underway and to also embrace automa- tion as a partner for the work of industry professionals. We know it saves time and money and for the challenges ahead, we do not have much of either. Importantly, the evolution of our industry requires collaboration between the private sector and the public sector at all levels of government. While the private sector continues to innovate and provide the op- portunity to stretch limited natural and financial, the federal govern- ment can support the digitization effort by providing incentives for the advancement of technology in civil infrastructure. Earlier this year, Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost offered support to the new administration and Congress for this purpose in a series of policy suggestions to spur economic and job growth, and to speed up the pace of transformation. Grading optimization is important not only for the efficiency it pro- vides but also because it demonstrates the value of automated design in one specific component of a civil infrastructure project. Imagine the potential design automation offers across the entire lifecycle of a project. This is the change we need and the change we require for the industry and for the public. Change is inevitable and it is time to look ahead to the future so as not to become overwhelmed by the challenges it will certainly bring.

setbacks, and across building areas. They can efficiently generate a design proposal for the grading of a water detention or retention pond based on minimum and maximum storage depths and other constraints to accommodate storm water runoff. The technology also facilitates the identification of constraint violations between building pads, curb islands, parking lots, and other use requirements. According to Gannett Fleming, they estimate that time saved by auto- mating the grading design process could clock in at up to 50 percent. “Grading is a labor-intensive and complex process. We have seen significant advantages when collaborating with vertical teams”, says Morykin. “We can share the terrain data quickly, enabling vertical teams to continue their design and allowing all stakeholders to make better and more timely decisions about the project.” Enabling engineers to arrive at best-fit solutions earlier, automation and generatively designed terrain grading improves project outcomes while reducing costs and material waste. What is next and how do we get there? We understand the digital transformation of the civil infrastructure industry along the entire project lifecycle is now a must-do rather than a nice-to-do. Further, it is time to recognize we cannot tackle the challenges ahead by working in silos and relying on the status-quo approach to design, engineering, and construction of capital projects.

THEO AGELOPOULOS serves as Senior Director for Autodesk’s infrastructure busi- ness, including industry, partnership, and M&A strategies. Theo played a key role in Autodesk’s business model transformation – specifically in Autodesk’s Architecture, Engineering and Construction business – and he has extensive experience enabling digital transformation. He is recognized for his leader- ship of technology-based disruptions impacting the AEC industry, including CAD, BIM, GIS, Cloud, Reality Capture, and AI/ML. Today, Theo’s team leads the design automation evolution, including the release of Autodesk Grading Optimization for Civil 3D, a tool supporting engineers in a more efficient, rapid, and accurate approach to terrain grading


April 2021


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