A group of people smiling for a photo at a conference hall.

Gannett Fleming Innovation Programs Harness Creativity for a Better Future

Gannett Fleming Innovation Programs Harness Creativity for a Better Future

Announcing 2023 Innovation Award Winners

April 18, 2023

Innovation is crucial in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, as it leads to greater efficiency, quality, safety, cost reduction, and economic growth. With rapid technological advancement in areas like building information modeling and digital delivery, robotics, virtual and augmented reality, digital fabrication, and artificial intelligence (AI), the AEC industry must innovate to better serve communities today and in the future.

A group of people smiling for a photo at a conference hall.
Gannett Fleming team members gather in Nashville to discuss innovation and ingenuity and recognize the firm’s innovation award winners.

“We believe that the current moment in our history presents a unique opportunity to deliver better value to our clients and the communities we serve through innovation in the AEC industry. With the convergence of powerful forces of change related to AI, decarbonization, and climate change, we recognize the need to be proactive and embrace transformative solutions,” said Gannett Fleming CEO Bob Scaer, PE. “At Gannett Fleming, we take pride in our commitment to fostering creative thinking, collaboration, and innovative approaches to problem-solving. By leveraging these qualities, we can deliver innovative solutions that not only meet the needs of our clients, but also contribute positively to the well-being of the communities we serve.”

Gannett Fleming’s efforts to drive different types of innovation include the firm’s:

  • Innovation Jumpstart Program.
  • Innovation Challenge.
  • President’s Innovation Award.
A group of people sitting at tables in a conference room hall.
Gannett Fleming employees listening to the presenters during the Innovation Summit.

2023 Innovation Jumpstart Program

The Innovation Jumpstart is available to all employees and teaches new tools for identifying ideas and building innovation skills. The program also assists employees interested in developing their ideas and enhancing their applications for internal award competitions.

This innovative mindset has enabled various business lines to create innovation working groups to encourage innovative thinking, share ongoing initiatives, and facilitate collaboration among team members.

2023 Innovation Challenge

The Innovation Challenge, now in its seventh year, encourages every employee to pitch concepts for ideas that address the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s impact on the AEC industry.

This year’s Innovation Challenge theme was “Forces of Change,” which prompted participants to explore innovative solutions that help the industry better respond to rapid changes and challenges. The theme highlighted the need to address evolving environmental, social, and demographic trends, such as decarbonization, urbanization, an aging population, and the demand for more accessible infrastructure.

While addressing these forces, employees were motivated to share their innovative solutions, contribute creative ideas, and work together to advance to the annual Innovation Summit held each year in Nashville, Tennessee.

The 2023 winners are Branden Leaphart and Wesley Hill, PE, for their innovation, “Process Automation Code Generator.” Their submission proposes a software tool to generate all aspects of code requirements in an automation project that is controller agnostic.

Four men posing for a photo and two of them are holding a glass award.
From left to right, Jamie Christensen, Wesley Hill, PE, Branden Leaphart, and Bob Scaer, PE.

2023 President’s Innovation Award

Gannett Fleming also recognizes employees through the President’s Innovation Award (PIA), which acknowledges initiatives that have been implemented and have already made a positive impact in the industry. This year’s award winners are Tao Xue and Chad Bunyard for “Charger Sequence Modeling.”

Their model simulates electric vehicle (EV) bus charging and maintenance based on garage operational conditions, introducing smart charging and proper strategies to reduce the peak demand for power significantly. This helps clients avoid high energy costs and build more efficient, strategic garages for their EV fleets.

Three men posing for a photo, with one of them holding a glass award in a conference room.
Jamie Christensen, left, with one of the President’s Innovation Award winners, Tao Xue, alongside Gannett Fleming CEO Bob Scaer.

“The past seven years have seen a significant evolution in Gannett Fleming’s approach to innovation, resulting in a more inclusive, collaborative, and agile environment where employees are excited to contribute their creative ideas and work together to push the boundaries of the AEC industry so our clients achieve their goals,” said Gannett Fleming Innovation Director Jamie Christensen, who spearheads the firm’s innovation programs.

Join Our Innovative Team

Want to join a team that understands the importance of innovation and resiliency while investing in you and the tools, training, and additional resources to produce incredible results? Explore the careers Gannett Fleming has to offer.

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