SPEAKER INTERVIEW: NAJI ATALLAH

In talks with Naji Atallah, Head of Architecture, Engineering, Construction & Manufacturing, Autodesk

The Big 5 hosts Naji Atallah, Head of Architecture, Engineering, Construction & Manufacturing at Autodesk, as a key speaker of the event's FutureTech Construction Summit. Naji Atallah will be giving a keynote on "The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Construction" on November 27 at 12:40 - 13:20 hrs.

Naji Atallah
Naji Atallah

Here's what Naji Atallah, Head of Architecture, Engineering, Construction & Manufacturing at Autodesk revealed ahead of the event:

"At Autodesk, we make software for people who make things. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to design and build a towering skyscraper, an airport, latest smartphone or a great film, well it takes a lot of talent and software from Autodesk.
We have helped transform the construction industry throughout our history: first we introduced 2D drafting on PCs in the early 80s through AutoCAD then we transformed the industry to Building Information Modeling (BIM) and now we are working on extending BIM workflows to the cloud through Connected BIM. Software that enables Connected BIM from Autodesk will allow more collaborative, digitized and automated workflows.

What are the main challenges and opportunities in this field?

The main challenge to the construction industry comes from the staggering demographic change we are witnessing. According to the United Nations, the population of Earth will grow from the current 7.5 Billion to 10 billion people by 2050. City dwellers will double by then which means the size of our cities should double. The industry needs to deliver 13,000 buildings every day over the next 3 decades. The gap in infrastructure is even wider. Think about this, the roads we will need to build every year will circle Earth 30 times.
This is very relevant for the region because of its very young population. As the population ages, the demand for housing and infrastructure will spike. This is in an industry where 30% of all project resources go to waste. In fact, estimates from the GCC put the percentage of solid waste coming from construction at about 50%.

Why is it important for the construction industry to adopt new technologies?

According to a McKenzie study from 2016, the construction industry was second to last in terms of technology adoption. Imagine how much more we can build by adopting technology and imagine how much less we will waste. The opportunity is simply to build more, build better yet build with less negative impact on the planet.
Embracing technology also allows construction companies to thrive in the future. The skills and methods that are required to compete today will not be enough to survive tomorrow. Take the example of BIM. 10 years ago, people debated the benefits of BIM. Now BIM is a requirement on major projects. If we want better, safer and more profitable projects, technology is the way to go. 

How will the sector in this region benefit from digitalization?

We at Autodesk predict immense opportunities for growth in the region and are committed to support this growth. We want to provide the industry with the latest technology, more focus on education and more interactions with industry bodies and associations.

What will attendees learn by attending your seminars at The Big 5?

During the sessions we are holding at The Big 5, we will focus on the different emerging technologies that will shape the future of construction project execution. Things like generative design, digitalization of everything and machine learning have made their way to some flagship projects in the region and we are excited to help make them norm for the industry.
In addition, we will also showcase our portfolio of Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, collaboration and project control technology.

 

About Naji Atallah -

Naji Atallah joined Autodesk in 2013 and leads its AEC and Manufacturing Department. He focuses on defining the vision for Autodesk in the building and manufacturing industries, as well as cultivating and sustaining the firm's relationships with strategic industry leaders and associations. He evangelizes Autodesk as a technology thought leader in the Middle East & Turkey markets.

He is responsible for developing and implementing strategic plans and forecasts to achieve corporate objectives for products and services as well as expanding market share. He oversees and supports channel development, develops key client relationships, and monitors market activities in his territory.

Prior to his current role, Atallah was Regional Manager for AVEVA. Atallah holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

You can hear more from Naji Atallah at the FutureTech Construction Summit on 27th November, 12:40 - 13:20.

Register online to attend the event for free at THIS LINK.

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About The Big 5

25 - 28 November 2019, Dubai World Trade Centre

The Big 5 is the region’s largest and most influential event for the construction industry.

Since 1979, the event has launched hundreds of thousands of products boosting the expansion of the Middle East and African markets. It has facilitated partnerships, advanced knowledge and industry best practices, while serving as the gateway for international companies to access the region.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the event is set to support construction companies through a shifting economic landscape, boost business, launch the latest building solutions, educate industry professionals, and foster best practices championing technological innovation. 

For the first time, The Big 5 covers the full construction cycle. Not only does it showcase products across six dedicated product sectors: MEP services, Building Interiors & Finishes, Building Envelope & Special Construction, Construction Tools & Building Materials, Construction Technology & Innovation, and the all new Offsite & Modular Construction.

It also runs alongside six specialised events enabling industry professionals to source products from around the globe for every stage of the construction projects: The Big 5 Heavy, Middle East Concrete, HVAC R Expo, Middle East Stone, The Big 5 Solar, and the Urban Design & Landscape Expo.

Beyond bringing to Dubai over 20,000 innovative building solutions to over 68,000 expected visitors, the seven co-located events provide more than 220 complimentary high-level summits, practical seminars, and CPD-certified workshops to foster collaboration, support best practices, and provide effective solutions to today’s industry challenges.

In order to promote technological innovation in the construction sector, the event also features The Big 5’s Start-Up City, the Live Innovation Zone, and the FutureTech Construction Summit, among others.

The Big 5 is organised by dmg events and is free to attend for all pre-registered visitors. Free online registration closes on 24 November 2019; 200 AED entrance fee will be charged to non-registered visitors.

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To know more, visit www.thebig5.ae


About dmg events

dmg events is a leading organiser of face-to-face events and a publisher of trade magazines.

We aim to keep businesses informed and connect them with relevant communities to create vibrant marketplaces and to accelerate their business through face-to-face events.

dmg events organises more than 80 events across 25 countries, attracting over 425,000 attendees and delegates every year. The company’s portfolio of products includes many industry-leading events in the energy, construction, hospitality & design, coatings and transportation sectors. ADIPEC, The Big 5, Gastech, EGYPS, The Hotel Show and INDEX are the company’s flagship events. For more information visit www.dmgevents.com.

Founded in 1989, the company is headquartered in Dubai, UAE, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT, www.dmgt.co.uk), one of the largest media companies in the United Kingdom.