The words digital, innovation, technology, and now AI is starting to appear within the language of many engineering and construction companies. Certainly, there's an aspiration to be more forward-looking, as well as future-gazing—this is exactly how we should be behaving like an industry. However, we are still very much at the embryonic stage, and this new path is fraught with dead ends, troughs of disillusionment, and dare I say it, failures. we have a tendency to still have not learned to celebrate failure, and as such overlook the learnings and opportunities they bring.
As an industry that likes the comfort of tried and tested, we forget that we have innovated over the years, still as having adopted and adapted new technologies over the decades. One might call it evolution, but we do ourselves a disservice—we have developed new materials, applied new engineering processes, improved efficiencies while reducing waste and rising safety—themes that are still very relevant today. though our industry rarely makes original mistakes, we do learn, and that we are able to build incredible structures, safely dig huge tunnels under cities among a myriad of obstacles with millimeter accuracy. do we innovate? of course, we do—we simply don't quote it or understand we do it!
However, as an industry, our maturity is still either very siloed or behind once introducing these style of technologies to the trade. to say that we are tech-shy is a name. As an industry, we've got modified considerably over the years, and continue to do so. Most applied science corporations are currently well entrenched in digital technology.
To name some examples:
• optical maser scanning as well as measuring system
• using mobile computing for red-lining, snags, and reporting have become more and more traditional
• The introduction and adoption of BIM and its standards
• Digital authoring tools, now with the added opportunities that UAVs and satellite data can bring (photogrammetry and purpose clouds
• AI and machinery are permitting exaggerated efficiency or lowering personnel risk.