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See You at Autodesk University 2018

Autodesk University began in 1993 as an Autodesk software user conference. It created a chance for designers, architects, and engineers to come together and learn from Autodesk and industry experts to help get the most from the software. It was such a success that they did it again the next year, and have done so annually since then – this year’s session will take place November 13-15 in Las Vegas. As you can imagine, it has grown in size from the original AU event, with the scope also growing to incorporate new Autodesk products. AU has also evolved to an international playing field, with events hosted around the globe.

While there are all kinds of design technology conferences, AU is unique in the number of people it brings together from all aspects of our industry and other industries as well. You don’t normally get people from manufacturing and construction and design all together at the same time, when in fact innovation often comes from looking at what another industry segment has done and adopting that to your segment.

Autodesk University uses the tagline Learn. Connect. Explore, and I would use those same words to describe my experiences with AU over the years.

Learn – At AU2018, there are nearly 900 classes available for attendees, including tracks in design and construction, AEC project delivery, generative design, and overall industry learning. Presenters share anything from basic product training to advanced use cases of what they’ve done and how they’ve done it – and everything in between. Early in my career, I attended AU mainly to learn. There is really no place else where so many industry experts are gathered in one place at one time, and the opportunities to choose sessions based on my learning needs over the years made for great ways to gain industry knowledge.

Connect – Networking is an integral part of Autodesk University. With thousands of people in attendance, there’s plenty of opportunity to join with your peers to discuss what’s going on in the industry, share issues and successes that you’ve had, and develop connections. For me, this is now my most valuable piece of attending AU. It’s extremely beneficial to hear what others have done, how they’ve done it, and where they’re going, which can help you validate what you’ve done and the next direction you want to go.

Explore – AU is also an amazing opportunity to explore what’s new in the design industry. Nearly 200 exhibitors will be on hand to share the very latest software, technologies, and gadgets – from software add-in companies to automated manufacturing companies demonstrating robotic capabilities, and everything in between. You’ll definitely see some of the latest and greatest in design technologies on the AU expo floor.

I’m happy to share that I’ve been invited to participate in two sessions during AU2018. In the pre-conference Connect & Construct Summit, I’ll be part of the Robotics in Construction panel discussion. We all know that automation has been implemented in other industries to solve challenges associated with labor productivity, material waste, quality control, and so on—but why not construction? Together we’ll discuss the industry’s problems and opportunities, and how to take the next steps.

On Wednesday we’ll have some fun digging into Your Revit File is Not My Revit File. Revit has been around for nearly 20 years, so while we can collaborate on projects, we often don’t get what we need from our fellow disciplines, or consider what we could put in our models to improve theirs. So what if we just asked the other disciplines what they needed? I’m expecting some great attendee participation in this session.

I look forward to attending Autodesk University 2018 with three of my Faith team members – Mark Mendez, Mike Quella and Adam Witthuhn. While attendance is not inexpensive, the knowledge that can be gained is invaluable, including the opportunity to take the Autodesk Certification Exam for free during AU. We highly encourage our team members to become certified, which challenges them to learn and use Autodesk products to their fullest potential, and demonstrate their knowledge to others.

I look forward to learning, connecting and exploring with many of you at AU2018. See you in Las Vegas!