Speaker Q&A

Lewis Healy is a graduate engineer in Arup’s Bridge and Civil Structures team. We had a chat with Lewis ahead of his session on Day 1 of the Future Infrastructure Summit in Brisbane on parametric workflows in infrastructure projects​.

Tell us a bit about your background and how you came to work in digital construction?

I am a graduate engineer in Arup’s Bridge and Civil Structures team. While I studied at uni, I learnt how to use the parametric modelling tool Grasshopper, as well as other computational design tools. Since starting at Arup, I have been using these skills heavily in the development of parametric design tools for the team.

What is the most exciting thing about your role?

Getting the chance to apply computational design methods to every-day projects. The projects Arup works on gives ample opportunity for innovation and adoption of parametric design tools; each of which poses a different challenge for their development.

Can you tell us a bit about the projects you’re working on and what role innovation and technology is playing?

Adopting parametric design methods on our projects has enhanced the efficiency of our workflows. The time and costs associated with manual rework due to significant design changes are drastically reduced because of these tools. Time spent on tedious tasks has also been reduced.

Can you tell us a bit about your session at Future Infrastructure Summit 2019?

My session will demonstrate how parametric design procedures can be extremely beneficial on infrastructure projects. At Arup, we have developed a parametric design tool for the generation of 3D models and design documentation for bridges. A Grasshopper script reads the bridge’s alignment strings, and spreadsheet inputs, and generates a 3D model for the bridge in Revit and Tekla. When design changes occur, the script is re-run and the model updates. The script’s adaptability to design changes will be highlighted using a live demonstration of the tool.

What do you see as the most interesting and exciting future applications for digital technology in construction?

Advanced computational design procedures could be used on projects to generate design solutions which might not be achievable without their use. The development of Artificial Intelligence for use in the construction industry is an exciting thought.