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EEJ Digital Engineering

Introduction

Tomorrow’s engineer will be defined by their ability to integrate innovative engineering approaches, digital technologies and rich data. This will improve the design, manufacture, construction and management phases and drive a step-change in asset performance.

This future will belong to digital engineering.

The current fixation with Building Information Modelling (BIM) within our industry globally is gathering pace and this is undoubtedly progress. However, it once again reflects the vested interests within our own ranks that we chose to embrace the minimum standards of these new ideologies and technologies only when pushed to do so, rather than seize the opportunity to exploit their potential for real and lasting industry-wide transformation.

This level of resistance to proactively embrace such an exciting new development potentially threatens our future viability.

A major stumbling block to these ambitions is the current nomenclature – it is too narrow in its scope and ambition, inhibiting the incorporation of a much wider set of benefits. It tacitly encourages developers, architects, designers and engineers to restrict their view of its application to a limited range of sectors, building types and project phases.

Instead, we need to look beyond the concept as a software interface for producing better geometric information, and focus on the rich content that populates it. I believe that in its most optimised state, it can be an enabler of multiple data sources that drive ‘right first time’ decision-making and unlock greater value across the entire lifecycle of a capital asset.

At Laing O’Rourke we have taken a very deliberate and conscious decision to move into a world defined by digital engineering.

Ray O'Rourke KBEChairman, Laing O'Rourke
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