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ACEC News / Market Forecast

June 12, 2020

Looking to the Future: Research Institute Roundtable on Technology in Engineering

To the ACEC Community,

Roundtable Promotional FlierIn my discussions with members and from responses to our complimentary COVID-19 online programs, many firms are emerging from crisis mode and looking at how they can adapt to the new normal. That makes sense. While the pandemic continues to pose a serious threat and everyone needs to exercise caution, we still have to look ahead and plan for the future.

So what’s next? What will the engineering industry look like in the near-term and the long-term? And what do you need to do to prepare your firm and your career? The ACEC Research Institute has developed a series of virtual roundtables to help you answer those questions. Over the next month, the Institute will offer three free programs with experts discussing the key issues facing engineering firms over the coming years. You’re invited to participate, listen to the conversations, and ask questions.

The first of these roundtables is a week from tomorrow, on June 18 at 1:30 pm ET. An impressive panel of experts will address The Impact of Technology on Engineering.

The uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has inspired much speculation about the impact of technology on engineering, both on the speed of design and on a firm’s workforce and culture. The panelists will explore these issues, as well as the interconnectivity of systems, the impact of A.I. and machine learning, simulations, and technology that facilitates firm culture and collaboration.

Addressing these issues will be Jose Luis Blanco, partner, McKinsey & Company; Mike Haley, Head of Machine Intelligence, Autodesk; Chris Luebkeman, Director of Strategic Foresight, Office of the President, ETH Zurich; and Heather Wishart-Smith, SVP of Technology and Innovation, Jacobs. Joseph Bates of the Institute will moderate the discussion.

One week later, on June 25, the Institute will present The Buildings We Live and Work In, which will consider the lasting impacts of the pandemic on the design of the commercial, high-rise, healthcare, and mixed-use buildings of the future; and on July 16, an expert panel will discuss Funding in the New Normal, looking at how and when the U.S. economy will recover, which market sectors will lead the way, and what do firms need to do to ensure they aren’t left behind?

These will be open discussions and have been designed to promote audience participation. I encourage you to contribute questions before the program to help guide the discussion and then to ask questions of the experts during the sessions.

The roundtables will be an opportunity for each of us to step back from today’s pressing issues and consider tomorrow’s possibilities. I urge you to take the time. You will gain invaluable foundation material upon which to build for your firm’s future.


Linda Bauer Darr

All comments to blog posts will be moderated by ACEC staff.

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June 12, 2020



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