37 episodes

To all of the engineers, public information officers, project managers, 3D visualizers, landscape and aesthetic designers, artists and other professionals focusing on making transportation and other civil engineering projects look better through design or public outreach, this podcast is for you.

Published by Sam Lytle of Beyond CAD, a firm focused on creating better 3D visualization software for civil engineers. Learn more at www.beyondcad.com. Also now part of the CEMENT Network! Learn more at cement.network

We Make Civil Engineering Look Good | Working to Make Transportation and other Civil Engineer Projects Better through Outreac Sam Lytle

    • Government

To all of the engineers, public information officers, project managers, 3D visualizers, landscape and aesthetic designers, artists and other professionals focusing on making transportation and other civil engineering projects look better through design or public outreach, this podcast is for you.

Published by Sam Lytle of Beyond CAD, a firm focused on creating better 3D visualization software for civil engineers. Learn more at www.beyondcad.com. Also now part of the CEMENT Network! Learn more at cement.network

    Interactivity, Smart Traffic and More for Better Public Outreach (Presentation)

    Interactivity, Smart Traffic and More for Better Public Outreach (Presentation)

    On a previous episode of the podcast, Sam shared a presentation he gave alongside Nick Johnson, the chief of project management at the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), that focused on the future of 3D visualization tools and how they can be used to make public outreach more engaging and actually helps all stakeholders understand an engineering project, from commercial to infrastructure.
    Today, Sam shares the audio format of a solo presentation he gave in Las Vegas about the main aspects of 3D visualization and how these aspects haven changed over years, as well as his expectations for the roles each of these elements will play in 3D visualization software of the future.
    Back in 2015, when he found out his previous company, Civil FX (now a division of Parametrix), were among the winning companies to work on Project Neon, he had the opportunity to put into practice his idea of 3D visualization tools working similarly to game engines. Working with different professionals in the game industry, as well as hiring artists and developers, Project Neon really set the stage for this industry-changing idea of improving the capabilities of current visualization software.
    Explaining aspects such as interactivity, accessibility, quality, as well as phasing and traffic, he walks us through the different steps of how we can make better visualization tools by improving each of these individual elements. In the future, will it be necessary to have powerful and heavy computer setups to use the enhanced visualization tools? How can we make it more accessible to those who do not have such equipment but are directly impacted by the project? Will these tools run on every device, from mobile phones to laptops? Maybe even on the web?
    Tune in and learn about the future of 3D visualization!

    Resources Mentioned
    APWA Presentation - Video Format
    American Public Works Association - APWA
    Subscribe to the Podcast - Itunes / Spotify
    Beyond CAD - Website / Vision Weekly Update
    Sam Lytle - LinkedIn / sam@beyondcad.com

    • 34 min
    Transforming Public Outreach at a State DOT with Lynnette Russell of Nevada Department of Transportation

    Transforming Public Outreach at a State DOT with Lynnette Russell of Nevada Department of Transportation

    Government agencies all over the country have now been more frequently using interactive visualization and 3D models after noticing the huge impact it can cause on public engagement, and the benefits the agency can reap back from an investment in such tools. Today, we hear from someone within such an agency about how these visualization tools have enhanced the perception of their engineering projects by the general public.
    Lynnette Russell is the assistant chief of project management at the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). She talks about her experience in the construction area, which includes working at the Golden Gate Bridge before coming to Nevada, and how she got into the rotating program at NDOT.
    Sam and Lynnette go into an in-depth discussion of how public outreach has drastically changed over the years, and especially now with COVID-19 forcing meetings to be held virtually. Public outreach has gone from a ‘one-way conversation’ with the purpose of solely notifying the community about upcoming projects to a ‘two-way conversation’ that aims at bringing the public to the table and getting feedback from them based on their concerns.
    Public outreach is definitely here to stay and the future may be even more exciting. Lynnette and Sam mention Project Neon as an example of how successful interactive visualization can be in helping the public experience the project before it’s even built, and how the initial investment, which at first can seem somewhat unattainable, can actually build traction for the project and multiply its benefits.
     
    Resources Mentioned
    Lynnette Russell - LinkedIn / NDOT
    American Public Works Association - APWA
    Beyond CAD - Website / Vision Weekly Update
    Sam Lytle - LinkedIn / sam@beyondcad.com

    • 45 min
    The Future of 3D Visualization (Presentation)

    The Future of 3D Visualization (Presentation)

    When it comes to the infrastructure industry, everyone has already been to, or even presented, one of the ‘old-school’ public meetings, where there were big boards and huge maps all over the room in an attempt to show the different aspects of a project and how it'll affect the public, both directly and indirectly. However, with all the latest progress in technology, “how can the public experience the project before it is even built?”.
    This is the central theme of today’s episode, which is the audio format of a presentation given by Sam and Nick Johnson, the chief of project management at the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), that focuses on the future of 3D visualization tools, and the options available to make these ‘old-school’ meetings much more interactive and engaging.
    Sam goes through the three main aspects of such tools (interactivity, accessibility, and quality), as well as the effectiveness and capabilities of each of them, both in the ways we used to create models and renders in the past, how we are currently doing it now, and the projected future capabilities of them. The latter includes real-time navigation on any device, instead of only powerful laptops.
    Vision is a software that will play an important role in this foreseeable future of 3D tools, especially for civil engineers, and it’s about to launch in the first quarter of 2021. Therefore, do not forget to sign up in order to get weekly updates on it, including exclusive videos, notes on progress, and more!
     
    Resources Mentioned
    The Future of 3D Visualization | Sam Lytle - Video
    Nick Johnson - LinkedIn / njohnson@dot.nv.gov / Nevada DOT
    Sam Lytle - LinkedIn / sam@beyondcad.com
    Beyond CAD - Website / Vision Mailing List
    Project Neon - Website

    • 40 min
    The Value of Positive Project Perception

    The Value of Positive Project Perception

    While a civil engineering project should definitely pay attention to the functionality and behavior of its structure, making sure it’s safe and functioning properly, an outstanding project also draws attention to how it will be perceived and understood by the public. On today’s episode, Sam provides us with a preview of a presentation he will be giving later this week as part of the Civil Engineering Collective by EMI. The topic of his presentation? The Value of Positive Project Perception.
    He dives into the reasons why investing in public outreach is worth it, and how it can add value to the project as a whole, while also laying out the strategies that can be used to make it possible. By making use of real-life examples as case studies, he explains the difference between the concepts of Project Practical and Project Outstanding, the benefits of positive perception for civil projects, the core elements of effective public outreach, as well as the return obtained when investing in project perception.
     
    Resources Mentioned
    Engineering Management Institute - Website
    Civil Engineering Collective - Website
    CEMENT Podcast Network - Website
    This Week in Civil Engineering - TWICE
    Beyond CAD - Website
    Sam Lytle - LinkedIn / sam@beyondcad.com
    Project Neon - Website
    I-15/CC-215 - Website
    Henderson AHL Arena - Website
    Downtown Access Project - Website

    • 28 min
    What Architecture Can Teach Civil Engineering About Visualization and Aesthetics

    What Architecture Can Teach Civil Engineering About Visualization and Aesthetics

    Architecture and civil engineering are two professions that go hand in hand. While architects design with a focus on aesthetics, usage and space, civil engineers oversee the entire design-to-completion process with a focus on materials, construction and structural stability. However, the visualization field within civil engineering is still behind that of architecture, just as architecture is still inefficient in certain aspects when compared to civil engineering.
    Today, Sam walks us through the main aspects that make architecture way ahead of the game when it comes to visualization, such as real-time visualization with game engines, augmented reality, and better software. Nevertheless, he also points out the distinct situations in which civil engineering can be compared to, or even does a better job than, architecture, such as public outreach and the effective and much more frequent exploitation of the visuals created.
     
    Resources Mentioned
    CEMENT Podcast Network - Website
    Beyond CAD - Website / Vision Software
    Civil FX (Now a division of Parametrix) - Website
    Sam Lytle - LinkedIn / sam@beyondcad.com
    Nvidia 3000 Series - Here

    • 18 min
    Utilizing Visualization to Build and Grow an Engineering Firm with Majed Agha of Agha Engineering

    Utilizing Visualization to Build and Grow an Engineering Firm with Majed Agha of Agha Engineering

    Today’s guest is Majed Agha of Agha Engineering, a civil engineering firm headquartered in Houston that specializes in transportation, drainage and site development, and incorporates BIM technology in order to provide high-quality designs.
    Despite being the principal PE at his own engineering firm today, Majed started out his career by going to business school. After a six-month period, he decided to go back and join the engineering department of the University of Houston, eventually getting an internship opportunity at AECOM about a year later. Once he graduated, he was hired by an engineering firm to assist their site development team with their usual 2D drawings. However, he started teaching himself and using Civil 3D in order to improve the quality of the work the team was already doing.
    The consolidation of his interest in the visualization industry took place after rejoining AECOM about 9 months later and starting to help out on schematic- and planning-type projects. He would go through the geometric design and his PM would ask him to send the files to a specialized 3D Rendering group within the company that would give them amazing photo renderings they could use to engage the public. This truly got him curious and he started teaching himself as much as possible.
    Now Majed has been building his own visualization firm for about two years and he sits down to share with Sam his niches of expertise, his experiences with his company, his predictions for the future of visualization, the new budget specifically dedicated to visualization at the Texas DOT, and much more.
     
    Resources Mentioned
    Majed Agha - LinkedIn
    Juan Romero - LinkedIn
    Agha Engineering - Website / LinkedIn
    Sam Lytle - LinkedIn / sam@beyondcad.com

    • 32 min

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