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Technology on the Jobsite

This month, the Engineering News Record Technology column (subscription required) featured a Q & A with Shawn Pressley VP of IT at Hill International, an engineering firm headquartered in New Jersey.

Pressley, a 13 year veteran civil engineer makes the case that the next technology to be used on the jobsite will be the tablet in what ever form it takes, iPad, iPhone, tablet pc or other iteration.  He makes a cogent case that one of the major issues to overcome as these tools enter the construction process is the change that its use will require.

The demographics on the site where most Project Managers and supervisors are in their 50s and 60s will be a factor.  The older generation is reluctant to make the change while the younger workers use the technology everyday. That tension will create some friction until the bumps are worked out.

He makes the point that many of the processes that are used today will have to be revamped and that might cause some issues.  He says that the cost to change something on a piece of paper might be minimal, but the customization of a software program will be substantially more expensive.  One solution he suggests that many of the procedures should be reevaluated rather than to restructure a software program.

Another issue becomes the storage of the documents and the transmittal of that information to the field.  The size of the files and the platform used will also be a factor.

These are issues that will be solved as the tablets and other technologies move into the field and on to your jobsite.


Anonymous's picture

Instead of using traditional paper drawings for the construction process, I see digital paper coming to frutiton. There has always been somewhat of a disconnect between office and field, but having drawings that update instantly with revisions would surely close that gap.

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