This month, March 2019, John Herridge the AEC Technical Marketing Manager of Autodesk, visited the Rinker School on a week-long educational tour. John spoke to students, faculty, and staff educating them on the latest that Autodesk has to offer. The students currently use many educational software packages from Autodesk to aid in their classwork.
John has been with the Autodesk education team for twelve years and has been involved with the Rinker School for over a decade of that time. What began with gorilla marketing to spread the word about Autodesk® Revit® software and Building Information Modeling (BIM), is now a staple at universities nationwide. John is familiar with many universities, “UF is leveraging the largest part of the construction industry workflows through the lens of technology that I haven’t seen anywhere else first hand.” He states that the BIM advancements led by Dr. Raymond Issa is truly the differentiator when assessing universities adoption of technology across life cycle of construction and the academic curriculum.
The evolution of the Rinker School graduate program has been one of John’s proudest accomplishments over the years. John stated, “I think watching the evolution of the graduate program and how rapidly UF is able to embrace technology is truly insightful. I could tell, even just talking to Dr. Issa’s group yesterday, that technology is a strong area of interest. Their eyes just light up.”
As part of the Autodesk Student Expert Network program, a program for developing technical and leadership skills, Autodesk has been able to invite select student members of this program to participate in our Autodesk University (AU) Industry Conference. The conference gives students the irreplaceable opportunity to network and connect with thousands of professionals from the construction, manufacturing, architecture, engineering, and media creation industries. In the past some of those elite students have been, Nathan Blinn, Ralph Tayeh, and Fopefoluwa Bademosi. In 2018, Elaine Irvin and Ricardo Eiris were the lucky two selected. Elaine Irvin says about her experience at the conference, “The collaboration between architecture, engineering, and construction was truly inspiring. Thank you, Autodesk, for an amazing time of learning and connecting with industry professionals and more specifically women industry professionals.”
John still remembers a highlight of the Autodesk (AU Industry) Conference that The Rinker School was responsible for two years ago. The event held an exclusive “Shark Tank” like competition among the students where they had to pitch a unique idea to a panel of judges. John goes on to explain his thoughts on The Rinker School’s involvement in the competition, “What I appreciate about The University of Florida is the innovation that they brought. The hologram prism shows a virtual picture that doesn’t require you to wear a virtual reality headset. I’ve never seen that kind of innovation presented at the Autodesk Conference in this competition.”
John re-quotes something that Dr. Raymond Issa once said to him, “If we’re not living on the bleeding edge were not relevant.” He goes on to say, “The UF Rinker School of Construction Management is definitely living up to that premise and is realized in this program.”
The Rinker school is excited about another decade of collaboration with Autodesk and looks forward to the innovative work our students will produce.