What are the Greatest Challenges Facing A/E/C Firms?

As architecture, engineering and construction firms tally some of their strongest financial results in years, they’re also grappling with the operational challenges of managing and sustaining that growth. Heading into the homestretch of 2018, we asked several A/E/C professionals to share their thoughts on the greatest challenges the industry currently faces.

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A Journalistic Career Propelled by Transportation

Serendipity paved the way for Aileen Cho to build an enduring career writing about the world’s most innovative transportation and infrastructure projects. For more than two decades, Cho has reported on airports, roads, ports, rail systems, bridges and infrastructure developments as senior transportation editor at Engineering News-Record (ENR).

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Why Your Ideal Office May Not Have Four Walls and a Ceiling

Leigh Stringer, a principal and workplace strategist at EYP Architecture and Engineering, helps organizations accommodate the evolving needs and preferences of their employees while creating healthier, more productive work environments. L.L. Bean recently tapped her expertise for its Be an Outsider at Work initiative, which encouraged employees to temporarily swap their office for the great outdoors.

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Pocketing the Future: This Innovator is Making VR and AR More Accessible

Adam Chernick is on a mission to bring sophisticated 360-degree architectural renderings to the hands of anyone with a smart device. As firm-wide design technology specialist based in HOK’s New York studio, he explores new applications for virtual reality, augmented reality and adjacent technologies such as hand recognition and 360-degree photography.

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Sound Advice for a Successful Career: Be Yourself

Nadene Taylor, an associate at Beyer Blinder Belle in New York, has discovered the importance of being herself, a belief she readily shares with others. “I want people to understand that it doesn’t matter what you may look like, where you may come from or what your upbringing may have been,” she says. “If you’re true to yourself, nothing is impossible.”

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Tales of a Fourth-Generation Construction Manager

More than a century ago, Joe Spiegelglass maneuvered a pushcart through the streets of downtown St. Louis in search of work repairing the city’s storefronts. Today, his great-grandson, Tim Spiegelglass, continues that family legacy from the suburban offices of Spiegelglass Construction Company.

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An Architect Who Reimagines Classic Buildings and Classic Songs

Haril Pandya, FAIA, spends his weekdays bringing new life to old buildings and his weekends reinterpreting favorite pop-rock songs. As principal and director of asset strategy and repositioning at Boston-based design firm CBT, he leads a team of nearly 25 architects focused on repositioning the city’s aging structures.

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Attracting the Next Generation of A/E/C Superstars

How will architecture, engineering and construction firms fill the jobs of tomorrow? Each year, the ACE Mentoring Program of America reaches more than 9,000 students from 1,000 high schools. Its free program educates students through hands-on workshops with industry mentors and field trips to construction sites.

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How to Overcome the Construction Labor Shortage: Hire More Women

Construction is an industry historically dominated by men. But with more individuals retiring and a skilled labor shortage threatening its growth, there is plenty of room at the proverbial table for women to contribute in more meaningful ways. Allison Scott, head of integrated marketing for Autodesk’s Construction Business Line, believes the industry is at an “interesting tipping point” where “women can really make an impact.” 

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An Entrepreneur Who Helps A/E/C Firms Share Knowledge

Christopher Parsons came to the architectural profession after he lost his job in the dot-com implosion of the early 2000s. He launched Knowledge Architecture in 2009 and the annual KA Connect conference a year later. Nearly 100 A/E/C firms currently use Synthesis, the company's social intranet software. 

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Career Shift: From Sports Journalist to Construction Storyteller

After 32 years with the Belleville News-Democrat — where he covered everything from St. Louis Cardinals World Series victories to the St. Louis Rams’ Greatest Show on Turf — Norm Sanders left his job as a sports writer and signed on as a senior writer at McCarthy Holdings, Inc.

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Reflections on Three Decades of Architectural Recruiting

Marjanne Pearson, founder of Talentstar, Inc. is one of the foremost recruiters and business strategy consultants serving the architecture and design professions. She recalls many inflection points throughout her storied career, including her willingness to embrace change and emerging technologies.

 

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Detroit Native Returns Home to Accelerate the City’s Revival

From age 11, Kimberly Dowdell has had a passion for improving the quality of life in her hometown as an architect. She recently joined Century Partners, an entrepreneurial firm focused on revitalizing residential housing developments through grassroots community outreach and creative place-making.

 

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