Next week, the entire digital design community will be coming together in Las Vegas for Autodesk University 2019. This almost week-long user conference and exhibition is designed to highlight the new advancements in digital design solutions – and illustrate what is possible for the individuals that make, build and design things.
With use cases across the entire architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) lifecycle, manufacturing, and 3d modeling and animation, there is a wide ecosystem and universe of Autodesk users. And, with so many different topics and use cases to cover, Autodesk University could be intimidating for any first-time attendee.
To get some tips and best practices for getting the most out of the Autodesk University experience, we recently sat down with Jamie Jones, an Autodesk Federal Sales Team Lead at DLT Solutions and a frequent Autodesk University attendee.
During our discussion, we asked Jamie about what he’s most excited for at Autodesk University 2019, the overarching trends that he anticipates will dominate this year’s event, and the tips he would offer to first-time attendees looking to maximize their time in Las Vegas. Here is what he had to say:
GovDesignHub: Can you tell us a little bit about Autodesk University? Who usually is in attendance?
Jamie Jones: Autodesk University is the largest Autodesk customer-centric event of the year. It’s designed to help Autodesk users get further entrenched in the software and learn more ways they can use it to make their lives and jobs easier.
This is hands-down the most educational digital design conference that you can attend, with a wide variety of side sessions, panel discussions and keynotes that teach users how to get the most out of their technology.
For government users, this is an incredible opportunity to learn about new solutions and technologies that can make it easier to accomplish their missions. For that reason, it’s not uncommon to see a strong presence from multiple government agencies, including the Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy, multiple local water utilities, and attendees from all of the branches of the military.
GovDesignHub: What could government users gain from attending Autodesk University 2019?
Jamie Jones: An understanding of the latest and most advanced digital design technology. It’s a poorly-kept secret that the government often falls behind the curve on technologies. That happens for a number of reasons – from security concerns to budget issues.
Autodesk University gives people that design and make things for the government a window into the new innovations and technologies that are available and allows them to see how they can better utilize those technologies to accomplish their mission. They can also see some of the innovative solutions and use cases that have been implemented in the private sector and learn from those implementations to become better and more effective.
In fact, DLT will be offering a government-focused breakfast session in collaboration with Autodesk that is designed to provide educational opportunities for government users. That breakfast has been designed to enable government users to share best practices, exchange ideas and network amongst themselves.
Part of that event will include Autodesk executives talking about the future of making things and how the company’s solutions will continue to grow and evolve to become more capable and powerful in the future.
GovDesignHub: What are some of the large, overarching trends and new technologies that you think will be covered?
Jamie Jones: Advanced manufacturing. Customers such as the U.S. Air Force are embracing and standardizing on additive and subtractive manufacturing – opening the door for them to manufacture revolutionary things in new ways. Additive manufacturing and 3d printing is allowing government users to take advanced designs in Autodesk and bring them to life.
Within the AEC arena, I anticipate that BIM will be a hot topic. BIM is changing the way people are building and designing. That may not be a new thing in the private sector, but it’s a new technology across much of the government and some agencies are so far behind in BIM implementations that they don’t know where to start.
GovDesignHub: What are you, personally, most excited about at this year’s show? Is there a particular topic, side session or panel that you’re personally excited to attend?
Jamie Jones: I’m particularly excited about the advanced manufacturing. It’s something new for DLT and something that we’re seeing increased interest in from the military. There is so much potential for these technologies in the military –using them to create parts in theater and ensure that the warfighter is always prepared and equipped.
There are several classes this year at Autodesk University specifically on advanced manufacturing and using new Autodesk technologies to do generative design and make product models. I’m going to make sure that I’m able to attend a few of those.
I’m also excited about Autodesk’s recent acquisition of Plangrid. I anticipate that there will be conversations about how it fits into Autodesk workflows and the advantages that it’s going to bring to the government workforce.
Finally, I’m particularly excited to hear about the movement towards smart cities. Autodesk and digital design solutions are instrumental in enabling the components of smart cities – including better and smarter utilities.
GovDesignHub: As a returning AU attendee, are there any tips you can share for first timers to ensure they get the most out of their experience at this year’s show? What would you tell a first timer to help them get the most out of their time in Las Vegas?
Jamie Jones: There is usually an Autodesk University Hub where attendees check into the conference. Take advantage of the social hours there. They’re a great opportunity to network, interact and learn from each other.
It’s always worth taking a tour of the exhibit floor. There are new tools and technologies that are on display each year from Autodesk and companies that are building new and exciting solutions that compliment Autodesk’s software.
I would also encourage a first-time attendee to participate in as many keynotes as possible. They’re incredible educational opportunities and give you a window into the future of the industry and technologies.
Finally, I would tell them to go to the classes that make the most sense for their job or interests. But don’t forget to leave some time to explore the Vegas strip and attend the Autodesk University block party, which NEVER disappoints and is always a great time!
For more information about the Autodesk University Federal Breakfast, click HERE.
*Feature image courtesy of Autodesk