On Tuesday evening I went to the Institution of Civil Engineers to see new ICE President Prof Tim Broyd’s Presidential Address ‘Engineering a Digital Future’.
It was the first time an ICE President has gone really digital with their approach and theme for the year, following on from David Balmforth’s theme of innovation 2 years ago. However, Broyd kept referring back to people, and how we must use technology and digital engineering to bring better value, service and reliability to the public “A world where our customers get the same level & reliability of service from infra that we now expect from Google or Uber”
// Side note I was also super excited to visit the Guinness World Record Breaking longest LEGO bridge!!! It’s open to the public and within an exhibition on bridge engineering – see www.ice.org.uk for info.
On Wednesday I was at the Costain Innovation conference up at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry where there were a few familiar faces and presenters included Tim Embley (Costain Head of Innovation and I3P forum member), Harrison O’Hara (who has been helping us with an innovation proposal for mobile tech on site), our CVB champion Ioanna (who won an award for her contribution to innovation, congrats Ioanna! A rising star of the industry for sure), Peter Slater (aerial solutions manager, who is meeting with Amey about their innovation Big Bang on drones for tunnel inspections) and George Holder, a very active member of Crossrail’s Innovate18 and now I3P.
There was also a bunch of suppliers exhibiting, like ‘Never Let Go’ who had some simple but effective solutions for tool tethering with fibreglass impregnated tape. ‘Stickyworld’ had a neat online platform for team working or public consultations, where you could stick virtual post-its on drawings or 360 photos. I also got to try out Costain’s MS Hololens, cool!
Thursday was the PDN Conference which I have to say was one of the best conferences I’ve been to. From the EPIC safety moment, all the talks in the morning really set the vibe for open mindedness and creative thinking, and there was so much energy and enthusiasm in the room, especially during the hackathon. Great to see so many innovation champions there too and I hope it gave you some inspiration and ideas for helping our colleagues to develop their ideas. I wonder if any of the ideas from the hack will make it and be submitted to The Great Think? Would love to hear what you came up with(comment below!)
Any other innovation events coming up that should be on my radar?
Have a good weekend,
Alliance Innovation Manager, Tideway