WEBINARS

Pertinent, relevant industry related webinars delivering knowledge and business strategies that guide and elevate the engineering industry.

The Future of Engineering Roundtable Series

The post COVID-19 world is creating new market forces. To survive and prosper in such a dynamic and turbulent environment, engineering firms need to think more far reaching and create a smart future.

The ACEC Research Institute developed a series of roundtable discussions with leading experts to explore intelligent solutions to tackle major financial obstacles, seek more proactive approaches to predict uncertain future, and pursue strategies to remove barriers to create that future.

Even as the industry celebrates the 50th anniversary of enactment of the Brooks Act, ACEC member organizations and firms continue to encounter misunderstanding, misapplication, and in some cases resistance to the requirements and principles of Qualifications-Based Selection for the procurement of engineering and design-related services. In this QBS workshop, Paul Chinowsky will highlight the key findings of the recently released report from the ACEC Research Institute on the many benefits of utilizing QBS.  ACEC member organization leaders and advocacy staff will then discuss the available tools and strategies for promoting QBS compliance with state and local agency officials.

Register today! 

The ACEC Research Institute will unveil its third annual Engineering Industry Forecast, as well as deliver an update on the Engineering Industry Contribution report. Join our economic research team for a discussion on the critical role engineering plays in the U.S. economy and its impact on jobs, wages, GDP and tax contributions. The session will also take a look forward covering the five-year industry forecast, including the impact of the Federal Stimulus programs and Infrastructure bill. Additional insights from the Institute’s new Engineering Business Sentiment study, as well as private market insights will provide attendees with a holistic view of the industry and what lies ahead.

Click here to view What Lies Ahead: Understanding Engineering’s Future Impact on the U.S. Economy 
Previously recorded November 15, 2022

The ACEC Research Institute’s design-build study is a first of its kind detailed analysis from the engineering firm and design build team’s perspective. This study, led by the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), analyzed data from 155 design firms and project data from more than 100 completed projects, diverse across all market sectors and size ranges, as well as 16 Case Studies from the best and worst performing projects. The report highlights major variations in profitability, risk transfer, insurance issues, and project harmony among the best and worst performing projects.

Keith Molenaar, FDBIA, Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science CU Boulder, will present the findings of the research, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Kevin McMahon, senior consultant from the ACEC Research Institute with extensive design-build experience.

Learn about best practices among best performing DB teams, common traits among underperforming teams, as well as recommendations for owners and design build teams moving forward.

Click here to view Risk and Relationships: Driving Successful Design-Build Outcomes
Previously recorded on November 10, 2022

The ACEC Research Institute will provide its quarterly update on the State of the Engineering Economy – 2022 Q4. Join our economic research team for a lively discussion on the current state of the U.S. Economy and how it is affecting the Engineering and Design Services sector, as well as the outlook for the industry. The session will include an overview of the performance of the U.S. Economy, results from the latest quarterly Engineering Business Sentiment study and private market insights. You will leave this session with a better understanding of the current state of the engineering economy as well as thoughts on what lies ahead.

Presenters: Joseph Bates, ACEC Research Institute

Click here to view the State of the Engineering Economy – Q4 2022
Previously recorded on October 25, 2022

The ACEC Research Institute will provide its quarterly update on the State of the Engineering Economy – 2022 Q2. Join our economic research team for a lively discussion on the current state of the U.S. Economy and how it is affecting the Engineering and Design Services sector, as well as the outlook for the industry. The session will include an overview of the performance of the U.S. Economy, results from the latest quarterly Engineering Business Sentiment study and private market insights. You will leave this session with a better understanding of the current state of the engineering economy as well as thoughts on what lies ahead.

Presenters: Joseph Bates, ACEC Research Institute

Click here to view the State of the Engineering Economy – Q3 2022
Previously recorded on August 23, 2022

The ACEC Research Institute will provide its quarterly update on the State of the Engineering Economy – 2022 Q2. Join our economic research team for a lively discussion on the current state of the U.S. Economy and how it is affecting the Engineering and Design Services sector, as well as the outlook for the industry. The session will include an overview of the performance of the U.S. Economy, results from the latest quarterly Engineering Business Sentiment study and private market insights. You will leave this session with a better understanding of the current state of the engineering economy as well as thoughts on what lies ahead.

Presenters: Joseph Bates, ACEC Research Institute, Erin McLaughlin, ACEC

Click here to view the State of the Engineering Economy – Q2 2022
Previously recorded on June 15, 2022

ESG which stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance is very rapidly becoming important to our clients and employees in the United States but also round the world. The ACEC Research Institute will be producing a series of Webinars to provide education, awareness and best practices about this movement. This first Webinar will provide a general introduction to the ESG topic, providing a base line of knowledge to prepare those less knowledgeable for a deeper dive into the E, S and G components.

ESG was first mentioned in the 2006 United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Investment. Today, major institutional investors are making it clear to public companies that they expect management to commit strongly to ESG criteria. The Biden Administration is pushing ESG initiatives into all areas of government. Our clients, both public and private, are facing increased pressure for full disclosure of their ESG practices throughout the procurement process and supply chain. Engineering firms will be provided opportunities to assist clients in fulfilling their ESG initiatives, as well as pressures to demonstrate their own ESG actions to address procurement requirements.

The E (Environmental)relates to environmental impact and sustainability. Some things looked at are the reporting, tracking and reduction of carbon footprint, the identification of any negative environmental impacts through pollution for example, as well as any risks the business may face from climate change.

The S (Social) is tied to societal factors such as commitment to diversity, corporate social responsibility (charity), hiring and promotion practices, employee working conditions, citizen/community involvement, and supply chain values and practices. What initiatives are firms implementing in these areas?

The G (Governance) relates to governance and how a firm’s policies are tied to fairness, equity and disclosure. Policies to ensure fair compensation for all levels including leadership, shareholder rights, internal controls and disclosures, employee well-being, safety, productive environments, and ethical behavior. What policies are leading firms instituting related to their operations?

Previously recorded sessions in the series:
An Introduction to ESG – April 20, 2022
Environmental Factors and its Future Impact on Engineering Firms and Clients – May 10, 2022
Societal Factors and its Future Impact on Engineering Firms and Clients – May 17, 2022
Governance and Its Future Impact on Engineering Firms and Clients – June 7, 2022

 

The ACEC Research Institute will provide its first quarterly update on the State of the Engineering Economy – 2022 Q1. Join our economic research team for a lively discussion on the current state of the U.S. Economy and how it is affecting the Engineering and Design Services sector, as well as the outlook for the industry. The session will include an overview of the performance of the U.S. Economy, results from the latest quarterly Engineering Business Sentiment study and private market insights. You will leave this session with a better understanding of the current state of the engineering economy as well as thoughts on what lies ahead in the coming year.

Presenters: Joseph Bates, ACEC Research Institute, Erin McLaughlin, ACEC

Click here to view the Roundtable, State of the Engineering Economy 2022 Q1

Previously recorded on February 8, 2022

This Roundtable is the second in this series of sessions focused on the role, value, and impact of technology among engineering and design service firms.

During this Roundtable we will discuss key takeaways from research recently completed by the ACEC Research Institute designed to measure the value of Technology in the A/E industry to engineering firms specifically. This includes how different firms value technology, the impact to their bottom line, and their ability to address emerging technology changes, as well as barriers to mainstream adoption.

Our panel discussion will center on current and planned integration and the value of technology through the lens of four chief technology leaders.

  • What types of technology tools are firms currently evaluating, implementing, or using?
  • Are these tools driving an improved bottom line through increased revenue or productivity enhancements and a competitive advantage? Or are firms investing just to stay competitive and deliver to clients what they want “or think they want”?
  • What will be the single most valuable technology their firm will be using in 5 to 10 years?
  • How do you build strength and capacity, either through human assets or outsourcing, and measure technology return on investment?

Panelists:

  • Jon Chiglo, Chief Operating Officer, WSB
  • Sam Ishak, Chief Information Officer, Langan Engineering & Environmental Services
  • Heather Wishart Smith, Senior Vice President, Technology & Innovation, Jacobs
  • Moderator; Joseph Bates, Consultant, ACEC Research Institute

Click here to view the Roundtable,  Implications of Emerging Technology Innovation Firm Strategy

 

January 18, 2022 | 12:30PM EST

This Roundtable is the first in a series of sessions focused on the role, value and impact of technology among engineering and design service firms.

During this Roundtable we will discuss key takeaways from research recently completed by the ACEC Research Institute designed to better understand the technological landscape in the engineering and design services industry. This includes how various technologies are being deployed and the value they provide to various firms across the industry.

Our panel discussion will focus on three areas of technology, including:

  • Engineering Collaboration: These workflow tools include a connected firm data environment and business process automation, driving efficiency, improved communication, collaboration, and shared access.
  • 3D Modeling and BIM Automation: These tools include model design and review, digital twins, virtual reality (VR) and digital delivery, allowing project participants virtual insights, increasing buy-in, and saving time and money due to more informed decision making among all stakeholders.
  • Insight Tools: The broadest of the three categories includes tools and technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, GIS, and data analytics. These tools automate tasks that were once done manually or not at all, and many of these tools are used in combination to innovate more comprehensive solutions to complex challenges.

Click here to view The Role of Technology in Engineering and Design Services Roundtable.

Panelists:

  • Joseph Bates, Consultant, ACEC Research Institute
  • Lori Hufford, Vice President, Design and Engineering, Enterprise Systems, Bentley Systems
  • Steve Ross, Chief Information Officer, EXP Global
  • Moderator; Jon Gray, Principal, Rockport Analytics

And don’t miss our second roundtable, Implications of Emerging Technology Innovation on Firm Strategy on February 8th, when we discuss how firms are incorporating new and anticipated innovations in Technology into their core strategy.

The ACEC Research Institute will unveil its second annual Engineering Industry Forecast, as well as deliver an update on the Engineering Industry Contribution report. Join our economic research team for a discussion on the critical role engineering plays in the U.S. economy and its impact on jobs, wages, GDP and tax contributions. The session will also take a look forward covering the five-year industry forecast, including the impact of the Federal Stimulus programs and Infrastructure bill. Additional insights from the Institute’s new Engineering Business Sentiment study, as well as private market insights will provide attendees with a holistic view of the industry and what lies ahead.

    Panelists:

    • Jon Gray, Principal, Rockport Analytics
    • Joseph Bates, Consultant, ACEC Research Institute
    • Erin McLaughlin, VP Private Markets, ACEC

    Click here to view the What Lies Ahead: Understanding Engineering’s Future Impact on the U.S. Economy roundtable.

    As vaccinations have risen, many companies across the country, including engineering firms are planning a new combination of work from home and office, a hybrid model, in which most office-based employees work a combination of working remotely and in the “office”. This hybrid model promises greater employee retention and attraction, lower costs for employees and employers, improved employee work/life balance, and greater productivity.

    Panelists:

    • Kimberly Acree Adams, PHD, Senior Staff Scientist, HumRRO
    • Alexander Alonso, PHD, Chief Knowledge Officer, SHRM
    • Darcy Gruttadaro, J.D., Center for Workplace Mental Health
    • Kate Wittels, Partner, HR&A Advisors, Inc

    Click here to view the Reimagining the Role of Working Remotely in the Post-Pandemic World roundtable.

    Additional Resources:
    American Psychiatric Association | Center for Workplace Mental Health: Mental Health and Well-being in the Construction Industry
    American Psychiatric Association | Center for Workplace Mental Health: Working Remotely During COVID-19: Your Mental Health and Well-being
    SHRM Workplace Mental Health & Wellness Center
    SHRM: Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace 
    SHRM: Mental Illness and the Workplace 
    Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Remote Work: A Guide for Organizations and Professionals

    The pandemic has forced us to change the way we live and work. Most office buildings, although designed with open floor plans, have far lower current occupancy rates than pre-pandemic due to employees working remotely and adhering to social distancing guidelines. In addition, traditionally densely occupied buildings, such as urban high rises in the central business district (CBD), healthcare and education, are having exceptional difficulties conducting business as usual. Will this decade become the decade of suburbia? How will existing buildings be retrofitted and new buildings be designed and constructed in the future? Will new occupant density requirements change the economics of real estate investment? This roundtable will address the following areas:

    • How will building designs change in the future, particularly for traditionally densely occupied buildings such as urban high rises in the CBD, healthcare and education?
    • What are the critical design changes needed to ensure occupant safety in the future?
    • How do design considerations differ for urban vs. suburban buildings relative to occupant safety?
    • What is the right balance between high-efficiency and health considerations in buildings? What will employees expect and demand?
    • Will there be greater use of outdoor spaces in the future? What are creative ways to accomplish this in building design?

    Panelists:
    Sabrina Kanner, EVP, Development, Design and Construction, Brookfield Properties.
    Colin Rohlfing, Director of Sustainable Development, HDR.
    Kate Wittels, Partner, HR&A Advisory’s, Inc.
    Moderator: Joseph Bates, ACEC Research Institute.

    Click here to view the Building Density in the Post-Pandemic World roundtable.

    Additional Building Density in the Post-Pandemic World resources:
    Podcast: Exploring Building Density in the Post-Pandemic World with Brookfield 

    The pandemic has caused a great deal of disruption throughout the economy and its impacts will be felt for many years. The A/E industry is not immune from these long-lasting impacts, including a resumption of Climate Change Policies and Programs as a major initiative by government and Energy Producers. In this fourth installment in an ongoing series of future-focused roundtables, the ACEC Research Institute will examine the potential impact of Renewables and Sustainability on energy policies going forward with a focus on Climate Change driven projects. This roundtable will address the following areas:

    • Is NetZero in danger of falling to the wayside in a post-pandemic world, or will it re-emerge as a major initiative by both Private and Public sectors?
    • Should firms increase their focus on Climate Change driven programs including Renewables, Sustainability and Resiliency?
    • How will design needs differ between urban, suburban and rural buildings?
    • How do you staff your firm in terms of skill sets for the future of energy efficient design?

    Panelists:

    Roger Frechette III, PE, Managing Principal, Interface Engineering
    Lisa C. Moerner, Director Innovation & Sustainability Technology, Dominion Energy Services, Inc.
    Andy Solberg, Global Technology Leader, Jacobs
    Tommy Wells, Director, Department of Energy and Environment, Washington DC.

    Moderator: Joseph Bates, ACEC Research Institute.

    Click here to view the Sustainability and Renewables in a Post-Pandemic World roundtable.

    Additional Sustainability and Renewables in a Post-Pandemic World resources:
    Podcast: Exploring NetZero with Tommy Wells
    Additional Insights: Sustainability and Renewables in a Post-Pandemic World

    We can’t avoid the financial impact that the economy will have on key markets. And, if we aren’t thinking beyond survival and focusing on the future of funding now then we will be left behind. This roundtable tackles these tough financial issues so engineering firms are better equipped to anticipate the forces that will affect their prospects and position themselves to take maximum advantage of market direction. Panelists dove into the impact of the federal deficit, recessionary challenges, and new funding mechanisms that are needed to build the future.

    Click here to view the Funding in the New Normal roundtable.

    Additional Funding in the New Normal resources:
    Press release: Economic Panel Predicts Slow Recovery for Many Engineering Markets after COVID-19
    Podcast: The Future of Funding and Mobility as a Service with David Zipper 
    Additional Insights: As the Recession Lengthens, Are Public Agencies Going to be able to Continue to Fund Infrastructure Projects? 

    Panelists included:
    • Rosemarie Andolino, Former Chairman of MAG USA and CEO of International Development, Manchester Airport Group
    • Anirban Basu, Chairman and CEO, Sage Policy Group
    • Jeff Davis, Senior Fellow, Eno Center for Transportation
    • David Zipper, Visiting Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government
    • Moderator: Joseph Bates, ACEC Research Institute

     

    The world today is full of extraordinary volatility, yet the engineering industry has risen to the challenge. Uniquely positioned at the forefront of designing buildings for work and home – engineers are solving for the new normal and exploring what is needed for commercial, high-rise, healthcare, and mixed-use buildings of the future. How do we design them? How do we rehab or retrofit them? What is really needed for the future when designing work and living spaces in this new paradigm. Join this exciting panel discussion that explores the future of the buildings we live and work in.

    Click here to view “The Buildings We Live and Work In” roundtable click here. 

    Additional The Buildings We Live and Work In resources:
    Press Release:
    Engineering Panel Says Buildings Must Adapt for Greater Normal Occupant Safety; Believe Significant Remote Working Here to Stay
    Additional Insights: The COVID Effect on The Buildings Where We Live and Work; Four Things: How COVID-19 Will Change the Built Environment

    Panelists Included:
    • Dino DeFeo, Managing Partner, AKF
    • Peter DiMaggio, Co-CEO, Thornton Tomasetti
    • Arathi Gowda, Associate Director, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
    • Kate Wittels, Partner, HR&A Advisors
    • Moderator: Joseph Bates, ACEC Research Institute

    Uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has inspired much speculation about the impact of technology on engineering, the speed of design, as well as its effect on firm’s workforce and culture.

    Panelists explored these issues and more including the interconnectivity of systems, impact of A.I. and machine learning, simulations and even technology that facilitates firm culture and collaboration.

    Click here to view The Impact of Technology on Engineering roundtable.

    Additional The Impact of Technology on Engineering resources:
    Press Release: Engineering Futurists See Greater Adoption of Technology, Need for More Talent, Heightened Respect for Infrastructure
    Podcast: Engineering Influence Podcast Features Conversation with Futurist Chris Luebkeman
    Additional Insights: Engineering Tech: What’s Real and What’s to Come?;   6 Things to Think About: Technology and Engineering

    Panelists Included:
    • Jose Luis Blanco, Partner, McKinsey & Company
    • Mike Haley, Vice President of Research, Autodesk, Inc.
    • Chris Luebkeman, Director for Strategic Foresight, Office of the President, ETH Zurich
    • Heather Wishart-Smith, SVP Technology and Innovation, Jacobs
    • Moderator: Joseph Bates, ACEC Research Institute

    Playbook of National Infrastructure Policy Series

    In Partnership with

    Previously recorded on Wednesday, October 7, 2020
    Listen to the session On Demand by clicking here

    This session focused on both existing and potential innovations in federal economic recovery policy plays, including the new concept to establish a federal infrastructure planning council that coordinates multiple agency policies and funding programs, opportunities to expand federal discretionary grant programs to address broader needs and break down infrastructure silos, and the potential for federal leadership to help guide cities with their complete street plans. For engineering consultants, this subject matter will help firms provide strategic advice to clients on innovations in urban planning and design.

    Previously recorded on Wednesday, September 30, 2020
    Listen to the session On Demand by clicking here

    This session focused on innovations to address climate change and water infrastructure. Participants went into detail about three key policy plays, including the need to increase administrative and financial resources for the WIFIA financing program, the potential to expand emergency relief funds for “betterments” or increased resiliency, and the need to establish outcome-based permitting for water management. For engineering consultants, this subject matter will help firms provide strategic advice to clients on water infrastructure financing and permitting as well as climate resiliency.

    Panelists will include:
    The Honorable Debbie Kling, Mayor, Nampa, Idaho
    Chuck Chaitovitz, Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
    Radhika Fox, CEO, US Water Alliance
    Edwin Crooks, Senior Vice President, HNTB
    Camille Touton, Professional Staff Member, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

    Previously recorded on Wednesday, September 23, 2020
    Listen to the session On Demand by clicking here

    Project Acceleration Tools and Processes focused on empowering localities with effective tools and processes to accelerate project delivery. In this session, participants learned in detail about three key policy plays, including successful local approaches to procurement efficiencies, acceleration of environmental reviews, and obtaining federal technical support to fast-track public-private partnerships (P3s). For engineering consultants, this subject matter will help firms provide strategic advice to clients on existing and potential policies to improve the delivery of local projects.

    Panelists included:
    The Honorable Nannette L. Whaley, Mayor, Dayton, Ohio
    James Rubin, CEO, Meridiam NA (former Director of State Operations for Governor Andrew Cuomo)
    Andrew Winkler, Associate Director, Bipartisan Policy Center
    Manisha Patel, Principal Consultant, Vice President for Environmental Policy Practice, WSP

    Previously recorded on Wednesday, September 16, 2020
    Listen to the session On Demand by clicking here.

    Funding and Financing for Community Serving Infrastructure focused on the playbook’s funding and financing recommendations. In this session, participants learned in detail about three key policy plays, including the use of pre-development funds, how the federal government can support local bond issuance, and opportunities to increase direct regional funding. For engineering consultants, this subject matter will help firms provide strategic advice to clients on funding and financing opportunities for local projects.

    Panelists included:
    The Honorable Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina
    Stephanie Wiggins, Chief Executive Officer, Metrolink, Southern California
    DJ Gribbin, Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program & Founder, Madrus LLC
    Sylvia Garcia, Principal Consultant for Public Finance Policy, WSP