Speaker Q&A

Toby Maple

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Toby is the BIM/DE Advisory Lead for AECOM across Australia. He has assisted Queensland and Victorian Governments (Victorian Digital Asset Strategy) with their digital policies and guidance materials. Recently Toby has been working with Schools Infrastructure NSW, Queensland Health, Melbourne Water and Transurban defining their digital strategyies, which includes documenting their BIM/DE project requirements.

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

When I was studying Architecture, I was using AutoCAD and ArchiCAD – then I saw Revit presented in 2002 and I thought that’s the future! I taught myself Revit whilst studying and patiently waited for a job that was seeking a Revit technician/implementer – it took over 8mths for an ad to appear! Over the past 15 years, I’ve helped lots of companies implement BIM and leading Woolworths BIM implementation was fascinating – using BIM to link to SAP for digital procurement – in 2005! Since then I’ve continued to help clients with their organisational wide digital transformations using BIM and now Digital Engineering (DE).

What is the most exciting thing about your role?

No two days are the same! Every client has different drivers and goals for BIM and DE. The most exciting thing is getting to understand a client and the wider organisation, then helping define what BIM and DE means to them. I get a kick out of challenging the status quo and identifying where the value of BIM/DE is for the organisation. You never stop learning and the speed of change is unstoppable – it makes for an exciting time to be in the infrastructure sector!

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

We’ve just completed the Queensland Health BIM Requirements (that I’ll be presenting at Future Infrastructure Summit in Brisbane) and have been assisting Melbourne Water with their DE Strategy and NSW Schools Infrastructure with their BIM requirements. It’s really important that the clients BIM requirements don’t limit innovation or the technologies used to deliver projects. I think the consumerisation of VR/AR is really helping with the adoption of BIM and DE, and making it accessible to everyone – not just BIM users.

Tell us about a recent innovation or technology that you’ve been most impressed by.

The guys at Ynomia https://ynomia.io/ are doing some amazing stuff with the connected job site! Being able to track materials from fabrication to installation and visualise progress or delays is pretty impressive – all using BLEAT technology developed with CSIRO! Go Australia!

What challenge in your work life would you most like a technology or process to help solve?

How to get from Brisbane to other cities without spending so much time on plane travel!  Making hologram tech less expensive?

How important is the Future Infrastructure Summit to the industry?

Really important. It brings a really diverse group of attendees and presenters together so you get a wide range of views. I loved the lean presentations last year! The format is great too – quick presentations with lots of networking.

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

I’ll focus on the newly released Queensland Health Project Information Requirements for BIM. It will be a tour of the salient points in the documents and hopefully engage attendees.  We’ve removed some of the things in BIM delivery that I think waste time, so it should free people up to focus on the important stuff and hopefully produce a better result for projects and Queensland Health as a whole.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that most people don’t know.

We used to live on a water access only island in Sydney. We moved there with 3 kids under 3! We used to put our twins in plastic tubs (with lifejackets on 😊) so they didn’t roll around in the tinnie. We were mad, but it was idyllic.

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

I think as technologies become more connected we’ll see great advancements in visualising and predicted asset performance and behaviours – not only in longer-term operations but during planning, design and construction. Hopefully we’ll learn to rely less on 2D and paper and engage people in rich, connected 3D environments. Dare I say the Digital Twin…but without lifejackets..maybe floaties for the first few years.