Digital design has historically catered more to the ‘A’ component of the architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) industry. But things are rapidly changing.
Now, digital design applications to sectors ‘E’ and ‘C’ are becoming not just a luxury — but a project necessity. Just as digital design is relatively new within the engineering and construction side of things, it is also unique to have dedicated digital designers on staff in those organizations.
What do digital design professionals do?
Digital design professionals wear a number of hats: early adopters, analysts, visionaries, educators, support staff. They bring leading-edge technologies and methodologies forward in order to elevate both work and workflow — for themselves, as well as for their colleagues. In an AEC firm, digital design staff communicate these tools to a variety of other employees: engineers, architects, surveyors, planners, GIS specialists and landscape architects already doing design-related work. Digital design professionals do the preparatory work of researching and mastering the software, then educate staff about how it can be used and adapted.
A digital design team’s goal is to analyze the project lifecycle and introduce the right technology at the right time to optimize the design process. They recognize that projects are living assets — assets that may serve communities for a useful amount of time but will eventually need re-concepting, expansion, updating — or even a new build altogether. And they have just the right tools to streamline and inspire that lifecycle every step of the way.
What’s in a digital designer’s toolbox?
A digital designer’s toolbox might include leveraging survey technology such as LiDAR, drones or GIS data for reality capture in order to produce high-quality digital “twins” with which to begin design. It might look closely at data analytics in order to select the best project alternative. It might input new data into 2D or 3D modeling software in order to communicate to clients and contractors where infrastructure should be located or what arrangement is best suited for the optimal maintenance and operations. A digital designer might also utilize augmented reality (AR) to bring models into simulated real life so that clients can view the functionality of new or existing utilities and building mechanics in action, before being placed underground and left to their own volition.
The result is landmark improvements to the way we design structures, modify project alternatives, produce plan sheets or construction documents, and ultimately build new or update existing community infrastructure.
Take a look:
Introducing MSA’s digital design team
MSA recognized early the importance of investment in digital design — and the professionals to guide the application of the technology as the firm continues to grow and expand. Today’s team is focused on leveraging the latest in digital design, technology and software innovations to enhance digital deliverables for MSA clients. They are also attentive to client integration and making sure that all aspects of a client’s vision, aesthetic and goals for functionality come to fruition.
The MSA digital design team is comprised of Jaime Kurten Chmielewski, PE, Digital Design and Construction Information Manager; Justin Supanich, CAD Manager; and Joe Hahn, Building Information Modeling (BIM) Manager.
Jaime Kurten Chmielewski brings over 20 years of experience in transportation design and modeling to this position. Her experience in design production allows her to understand the project delivery process and where technology can be leveraged to streamline processes and provide enhanced value and quality deliverables to clients.
Justin Supanich joined MSA in 2022 as the firm’s CAD Manager. With over 20 years of civil and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) experience, Justin’s project work spans from water tower and subdivision design to full urban reconstructions, U.S. Land Ports of Entry, federal highways, health care facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, and more.
Joe Hahn joined MSA in 2021 as the BIM manager and applies over 11 years of vertical infrastructure design experience to his role, including residential, mixed-use, and a variety of commercial use applications. Joe is knowledgeable about in the technology tools used for producing BIM models and manages and supports the firm’s Building and Water service lines in continuing to enhance BIM processes.
Today’s projects require today’s technology. Stay on the leading edge of your architectural, engineering and construction projects with smart design solutions. Get the conversation started today!
Jaime Kurten Chmielewski, PE
Design Digital & Construction Information Manager, Team Leader