Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 34

want to install a new piece of equipment in a plant, and you are
not sure whether it is going to fit, whether enough space will be
available around it," Cote says. "You could start with a reality
model of the site that you display at full scale in the VR environment and replace the portion of the mesh that represents the old
equipment with a model of the new device. You can then walk
around it and see the new equipment in place, as if it were in your
facility, and evaluate remaining space."
One of the potential impacts of VR technology for the
industry is safety, Bennett says. "Infrastructure engineering and
construction projects can be large, complex and in many cases,
dangerous," he says. "The ability to rapidly turn designs and even
construction planning into an immersive mixed-reality environment allows for immersive training on everything from pieces of
equipment to construction site logistics, safety and procedures."
VR enables engineers to virtually visit and examine emergency
sites, such as a dam breach, without physically going to these dangerous environments, according to Bennett.
VR'S BIG IMPACT

Several engineering firms have entered the VR arena and are
seeing benefits.
Mead & Hunt is a big believer in the technology. The firm
has been using VR in production for the last three years,
from initial interviews through the design process and to

construction, says CAD/BIM
Manager Dan Dankert.
"Currently we are using mostly
Mead & Hunt or project-specific
branded Google Cardboard devices
that integrate into our design tools
like Autodesk Revit and InfraWorks
for its quick, nimble and portable
nature at all stages of projects,"
Dankert says.
The firm also uses VR devices
from Oculus Rift for more immersive
studies that it ties into its Autodesk
Revit and Lumion projects, when the
project and team call for it.
"From architectural and engineering work, to even civil work, we have
been utilizing VR for visualizing
everything from the designs and
coordination of our spaces to redevelopment of roads focused on safety,"
Dankert says. "Over the past several
years, VR has had a large and impressive impact on the firm's projects."
The biggest impact Mead & Hunt

"We have
found that the
VR experience
lets users
appreciate
what their
projects 'feel
like', not just
how they look."
JIM JACOBI |
WALTER P MOORE

Tips for Deploying and Using Virtual Reality

What does it take to succeed with virtual reality (VR)? Here are some suggestions:
1. Find a virtual reality solution that meets your firm's
design process and client
goals
"Because VR technology is so
varied, your team will need
to find a pairing of hardware
and software that effectively
meets their needs," says Jim
Jacobi, senior principal and
Chief Information Officer at
Walter P Moore.
For example, technology
powered by a phone is lightweight, and you can take it
with you to a client's office,
but it won't support the robust
editing tools that a desktop
PC can afford. Similarly, a tool
that's designed to be mastered
in five minutes can be used by
a range of individuals within
the team, but it will have much
more limited use than a tool
with complex features, Jacobi
says.
"Spending time and
money on a disconnected

34

ENGINEERING INC.

design that has a limited
relationship to your projects
and promises unrealistic outcomes does neither you nor
your clients much good in the
end," says Dan Dankert, CAD/
BIM manager at Mead & Hunt.
"You need to make sure that
you are picking a technology
that fits within the time and
budget available."
2. Start slowly with the
technology before rolling it
out broadly
VR represents a significant
change in the way tasks are
completed. Workers need
to get accustomed to the
concept.
"Similar to any technology
shift, start small with an innovation team, pick a few small
pilot projects to experiment
on, look for areas where the
technology aligns with your
firm's future vision and its
goals for client services,"

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017

says Terry Bennett, senior
industry strategist for civil
infrastructure at Autodesk, a
provider of engineering software products.
From there build up the
skill sets to leverage that
technology in that space.
Then extend efforts toward
company standards as part
of your work processes and
train others in the approach.
3. Avoid making wholesale
changes in processes
Deploying VR doesn't mean
having to make major shifts in
workflows, Bennett says.
"Given this is more of
additional value add to those
already invested in BIM,
because it will leverage that
information, a whole new
workflow isn't required," he
says. "The key is determining
where in the workflow you
get the most benefit first and
where it provides a value to

your clients first and starting
there."
4. Provide training and
support
"Whether your team is
distributing software that
makes use of VR, or building
their own tools, it's important to remember that the
technology is still young
[and] growing pains are
bound to crop up," Jacobi
says.
For software distribution,
it's important to remember
that there are no universal
standards for input, and
many people have never
attempted to use a VR headset, Jacobi says. "There will
most likely be a need for
training," he says. "The most
important thing to remember is that VR requires commitment from the team. It is
a great tool, but to unlock its
potential it needs support."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc - September/October 2017

Engineering Inc - September/october 2017
Contents
From Acec to You
Market Watch
Legislative Action
Eye on The Storm
Boost Profits, Reduce Loss
Innovations in Airport Design
Future Looks Bright for Vr
The Legend of Gridlock Sam
Focus on Philanthropy
Guest Column
Mergers and Acquisitions
Members in the News
Business Insights
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Intro
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Engineering Inc - September/october 2017
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Cover2
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Contents
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 2
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 3
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - From Acec to You
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 5
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Market Watch
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 7
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Legislative Action
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 9
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Eye on The Storm
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 11
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 12
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 13
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 14
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 15
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 16
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 17
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Boost Profits, Reduce Loss
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 19
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 20
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 21
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 22
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Innovations in Airport Design
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 24
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 25
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 26
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 27
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 28
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 29
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Future Looks Bright for Vr
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 31
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 32
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 33
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 34
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 35
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 36
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 37
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - The Legend of Gridlock Sam
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 39
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 40
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 41
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Focus on Philanthropy
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 43
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 44
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 45
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 46
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 47
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Guest Column
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 49
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Mergers and Acquisitions
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 51
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 52
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Members in the News
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 54
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - 55
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Business Insights
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Cover3
Engineering Inc - September/October 2017 - Cover4
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