On Tuesday, October 8th, we hosted students from Miller School of Albemarle for the CBIC Tech Tour. The Charlottesville Business Innovation Council (CBIC) created the Tech Tour to introduce area middle and high school students to the dynamic, high-tech world that exists in the Greater Charlottesville/Albemarle area. Students from 20 regional schools spent the day traveling to participating businesses to experience technology in unique and specialized operations. In order to show the students all of the industry-changing technology and how it’s used across the A/E/C community, we partnered with Draper Aden Associates and Design Develop. Their participation added the expertise and perspective of engineers and architects to the tour, along with the general contracting knowledge of our Preconstruction Manager, Arthur Rogers.

Design Develop’s associates, Katherine Salata and Evan Philips, showed students how photorealistic renderings, three-dimensional models and virtual reality create a vivid portrayal of what a building will actually look like and how it will function, long before ever breaking ground. This allows clients to better understand their ideas and make informed decisions about their design and goals for the project. Students were able to wear Martin Horn’s VR goggles and experience this technology first hand.

Also helping us lead the tour was Alexis Ramsey, an aerial drone pilot for Draper Aden Associates. Ramsey explained how she uses drone imaging and measurements to thoroughly survey and map job sites. Students were given an interactive demonstration with Ramsey performing a short test flight and then showed students the rendered images and calculated data she obtained.

As members of the A/E/C industry who believe in its future, we are proud to invest in the education of young people in our area interested in the trades or professional services. With a shortage of skilled professionals (in construction and the trades) worldwide, we find it important to demonstrate the exciting future and rewarding experiences of our industry. We feel lucky to play an active role in building our community’s future and hope the CBIC Tech Tour students were given a window into the exciting process of bringing a project to life.

If you would like to find out more on the CBIC Tech Tour, or how you can also host students at your place of business, you can check out their website at https://cvilleinnovation.org/tech-tour.