Technology is pervasive: Are you ready?

Engineers and building professionals have embraced technology in so many aspects of design that it’s nearly ubiquitous across all job titles. 

By Amara Rozgus May 30, 2019

Reading about the winners the 40 Under 40 judges select each year is fascinating. Typically, the winners are from a diverse background, with many different technical disciplines represented in their education and training. In some cases, they took very divergent paths that lead them to today’s success. In other cases, they knew right from the start that they wanted to be an electrical engineer or focus on sustainable design or start their own engineering firm.  

There is frequently a thread that pulls all the winners together  sometimes it’s music or sustainability or athleticism. Frequently, it’s travel and the desire to learn more about the world. 

This year, more so than in other years, the theme of technology appears pretty consistently across all winners. They’re using technology to their advantage in their everyday jobs. But they’re not simply using technology; they’re thriving because of it. 

While the theme of technology likely is more prevalent because so many winners were brought up in such a digital era, it’s also a common theme because that’s simply the way business is moving. Unless a junior member of the team has stayed up-to-date with scheduling software or modeling tools or integration systems, they’re likely to fall behind their peers.  

Plus, many of this year’s winners are meeting extraordinary demands of the global economy; they’re solving real-world problems across the planet. Using simulation tools and working in multidisciplinary teams, they’re creating designs and products that will impact a broad spectrum of clients and needs.  

For many years, the core focus of this audience — mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering — also includes fire protection engineering, lighting design and other subdisciplines. I propose that technology be adding to this alphabet soup so that we now call it MEP/FP/T.  

Why wait so long to add the “T” to the mix? While including software or cloud-based integration has been in play for quite some time, this is the first year that it’s bubbling to the top as the recurring theme in many conversations. Conferences have splashy booths and education tracks focused on software and modeling programs. Engineering firms have entire departments focused on integrated project delivery and modeling. And the 2019 40 Under 40 winners have embraced technology like no other class of winners I’ve seen before.  

Technology is omnipresent in every part of the design and engineering process. It’s time to add the “T” to the abbreviation.  

Amara Rozgus
Author Bio: Amara is the Editor-in-Chief/Content Strategy Leader for Consulting-Specifying Engineer.