Gannett Fleming 2024 Innovation Summit attendees smile for a group photo while gathered to discuss innovation in the AEC industry.

Transforming Tomorrow: AEC Innovation in Focus at National Summit

Transforming Tomorrow: AEC Innovation in Focus at National Summit


May 8, 2024

Complex issues like aging infrastructure, climate change, and resilience require cutting-edge, innovative solutions – solutions that Gannett Fleming has pioneered for over a century. As advances such as building information modeling (BIM) and digital delivery, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and augmented reality (AR) revolutionize the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, companies tapping into these areas are setting new standards for efficiency, sustainability, and collaboration.

“Our talented and energetic team members drive innovation. We invest in and nurture their ideas, which, in turn, helps us deliver better value and projects that withstand the test of time for our clients and communities,” said Gannett Fleming CEO and President Bob Scaer, PE. “Each year, employees take advantage of the Innovation Jumpstart Program and are highly motivated to submit their original concepts and initiatives for the Innovation Challenge and the President’s Innovation Award. A select few advance to our annual Innovation Summit, which is an energizing and exciting time for further innovative thinking and collaboration! We’re home to the best and brightest, and that spells success for our clients as well.”

2024 Innovation Jumpstart Program

Open to all Gannett Fleming employees, our Innovation Jumpstart Program empowers team members to develop the skills needed to identify and cultivate fresh ideas. The program, having seen a marked increase in engagement over the past few years, also fosters collaboration as colleagues and mentors support employees who wish to refine their ideas and strengthen their entries for internal award competitions. This year, the program had a specific focus around AI.

“Gannett Fleming has refined its programmatic approach to innovation, enabling us to proactively anticipate and embrace new opportunities. By structuring our innovation efforts, we’ve been able to stay ahead of industry trends and quickly integrate emerging technologies,” said Gannett Fleming Innovation Director Jamie Christensen. “AI is a prime example of this approach in action. Our robust innovation framework has allowed us to establish clear policies on AI, adopt the latest AI tools, and safely implement these technologies in delivering innovative solutions to our clients.”

2024 Innovation Challenge

Introduced in 2017, the annual Innovation Challenge inspires employees to conceive groundbreaking ideas for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With more than 30 submissions, this year’s challenge received the highest number of AI applications to date.

“We selected ‘AI and New Ways of Working’ as this year’s theme to align with technological advancements and emerging trends that are transforming the AEC industry,” added Christensen. “Focusing on AI helps us explore and adopt new methodologies for smarter operational efficiency, create better value, and deliver on our promise as a trusted advisor to our clients.”

The 2024 winners announced at the Innovation Summit are Elizabeth Landowski, PE, and Stacy Vorster, PE, for their innovation, “Risk Analysis Data Collection.” Their submission uses AI to address the escalating costs and resource demands related to dam safety by enhancing efficiency and work product quality.

2024 President’s Innovation Award

The annual President’s Innovation Award serves as another way Gannett Fleming acknowledges employee ideas, highlighting novel company initiatives that are already positively impacting AEC projects. The three winning teams revealed at this year’s summit are:

  • Josh Deller, EIT; Matthew Harkins; and Michael Marino, PE, for “Design Automation AI Tool,” which uses AI to transform a manual, error-prone process into a streamlined, efficient method, benefiting both the client and the community by reducing travel delays.
  • Jeremy Begley, PE; Daniel Hunter; Michelle Karlen, PE; and Joshua Paquet, PE, for “Inspection Automation Application,” an application that streamlines inspections at dams, enabling inspectors to log observations and take photos with a single button click. This system enhances safety, ensures higher data quality, and accelerates the production of detailed, error-free inspection reports.
  • Rodney Dawson, CMC, for “Budget Control Account,” which enhances cost management on large multi-year projects to improve data integration, streamline invoice processes, and enhance overall project cost management.

Join Our Team

Are you interested in pushing boundaries to shape the built environment of the future? Discover our career opportunities, and let’s work together to drive innovation in the AEC industry.

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