2020 Australia Civil Engineering Executive Rendezvous virtual event

Dassault Systèmes’ 2020 Australia Civil Engineering Executive Rendezvous brought together 6 expert speakers from around the world – Boston, London, Shanghai, Melbourne and Adelaide – to address over 60 executives in Australia’s civil engineering and construction sector.

The virtual event comes at an opportune time, as construction has been earmarked as an important part of Australia’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery. Despite short-term challenges in project delays and supply chain disruptions due to the recent lockdowns, businesses in the sector are actively looking to leverage on new digital technologies that can facilitate virtual collaboration, reduce reliance on manual labor and deliver projects faster and on-budget.

Marty Doscher, Dassault Systèmes’ Senior Director, Construction, Cities & Territories, was the moderator for the virtual event, which explored ways in which businesses across the infrastructure sector, from owners, architects, civil engineering firms, fabricators, contractors, operators, can successfully bid for and deliver innovative and sustainable projects that will support Australia’s rapidly growing infrastructure needs.

Delivering the opening speech from Shanghai, was Sylvain Laurent, Dassault Systèmes’ Executive Vice President, Chairman 3DS Infrastructure & Cities Board, who spoke on Dassault Systèmes’ commitment to providing virtual experience platforms for sustainable innovation in advancing the built environment.

Following the opening speech, experts from Dassault Systèmes and leading architectural firm, ZHA, showcased successful infrastructure projects that had leveraged virtual experience twins to achieve new technical achievements in design and construction in iconic infrastructure projects in Australia and China. Academics from the University of Adelaide engaged in a virtual discussion on the key transformations underpinning Australia’s construction sector and how these will impact the workforce of the future.

We bring you, the key takeaways from these presentations:


Innovation to successfully complete complex global construction projects

 – Cristiano Ceccato, Director, ZHA

Leading London-based architectural firm, ZHA, designed and built some of the world’s most iconic architectural landmarks, notably the Beijing Daxing International Airport in China, Danjiang Bridge in Taiwan, and Western Sydney Airport in Australia. Cristiano Ceccato demonstrated how ZHA utilized the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to design and construct these architectural masterpieces while significantly reducing project costs.

  • Simulating the pre-assembly of composite materials on the virtual experience platform led to vast operational improvements in ZHA’s design and construction process, significantly reducing risks and costs. Digitally documenting the knowledge of each design part in a systematic manner led to greater innovation in generating and validating design ideas for more complex forms.


  • An example is ZHA’s recent work on the Beijing Daxing International Airport in China. Built at 700,000 square meters, the airport houses the largest terminal in the world. The documentation process for this project went through multiple players, from ZHA’s architectural team in London, to the firm’s engineering partner, ADPI (Aéroports de Paris Ingénierie) in France, and to their design partners at BIAD (Beijing Institute of Architectural Design) and CACC (China Airport Construction Company) in China. All teams collaborated seamlessly through a visual 3D BIM virtual model, with data and information consolidated on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, transcending across cultural, language and geographical boundaries.


  • Cristiano also shared how certain features endemic in traditional Sydney architecture were re-created on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to form the design blueprint for the Western Sydney Airport. These design elements will serve to preserve a cultural aesthetic that is familiar and distinctive to Sydney. The whole build-and-design process was simulated like a manufacturing process, broken down into sub-assemblies and individual component designs, which helped diverse teams better understand the way that the blueprint can be built.


China Railway’s push for innovation and digital maturity across the railway sector

 – Kevin Zhu, Industry Process Director, Construction, Cities and Territories Industry, Dassault Systèmes China

Kevin Zhu spoke on how Dassault Systèmes became a key partner in China Railway Design Corporation’s (CRDC) national initiative to develop BIM industry standards across China’s railway sector, based on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

  • China is home to the largest high-speed railway network in the world, which is designed by CRDC. Annual investment in high-speed railway construction in China is estimated at €110 billion. Since 2015, Dassault Systèmes has collaborated closely with the CRDC to develop an open format to exchange BIM data throughout China’s railway industry, covering suppliers, contractors, sub-contractors and even universities offering specialized curriculum in railway engineering and design. This resulted in the China Railway BIM Alliance as the national standard for all railway projects.


  • The Railway Design process by CRDC is highly complex, with multi-disciplinary teams needing to synchronize information and data seamlessly, from the “before station” phase of survey and geology, alignment, civil structure, to the “after station” phase of systems engineering, estimations of costs and time to “take off”. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform enabled virtual collaboration across multi-disciplinary BIM teams to optimize railway designs, improve profitability and productivity while adhering to complex engineering principles.


  • Some of the key CDRC projects leveraging the 3DEXPERIENCE platform for BIM included the 6.44km Beijing-Shenyang Line, completed within 3 months; the 44km Yang-Da Line, completed within 5 months; the Wangjing Tunnel and the Qingyang Tunnel.


Academic institutions’ strong commitment to support the industry’s transformation

 – Prof. Pascale Quester, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Academic), University of Adelaide

–  Prof. Scott Smith, Deputy Dean (International), Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences – Interim Head, School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering, University of Adelaide

Prof. Pascale Quester and Prof. Scott Smith discussed  how the University of Adelaide is collaborating with industry partners on a co-creation process to improve the relevance of new multi-disciplinary programs to prepare Australia’s Workforce of the Future.


  • BIM has become a really important and powerful mechanism of integrating digitization into construction, from the design stage, to optimizing the delivery of projects, as well as estimating the costings. From a university point of view, we need to prepare graduates to develop the new digitization skills that are rapidly becoming the standard for the construction sector, to look into co-creating multidisciplinary degrees with industry partners to get students accustomed to applying, innovating and creating with new BIM technologies.


  • Additive manufacturing and 3D-printing are some of the exciting new technologies that can provide an interesting perspective for construction, as they can be well applied to modularization and prefabrication, and other practices aimed at reducing the carbon footprint in a construction site. We are envisioning a future where houses can be built with large-scale on-site 3D printers, where construction processes will be dominated by prefabrication, robotization and automation, to minimize waste and make the sector safer and more sustainable.


  • Graduates in the future will be working alongside machine-learning and artificial intelligence. They would need programming knowledge to operate the machines, as the nature of work becomes more automated. Ultimately, there is only so far we can get with automation. Architectural and construction design requires a humanistic perspective, that human element of creativity and realism that will preserve the socialistic and cultural character of urban structures. What universities should strive for is the development of skilled workers who can adapt to and innovate with technology.


You can view the full on-demand replay of the virtual event here.


For more in-depth discussions, please contact:

   Melle WHITING
Client Executive ANZ
Construction, Cities & Territories
Dassault Systèmes
Email: Melle.WHITING@3ds.com
Tel: 0416 056356