Growing up, Hammad Chaudhry couldn’t have predicted himself using drones and virtual reality to help build health centres and high-rises. He was fascinated by technology, but he hadn’t considered a career in construction.
“I thought maybe I’d get into the automotive industry and design cars. I was a little all over the place, but there was definitely a drive toward putting things together and using technology.”
As he got older, he was drawn to an architectural technologies program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. And that’s where he learned how exciting construction can be.
“There are so many areas of expertise that you can focus on. That wasn’t something I was really aware of.”
Today, Hammad works for EllisDon, a leading construction and building services company. In just six years, he’s climbed the ranks to become Director of Virtual Design and Construction for western Canada. His team uses technologies like drones, 3D modelling, laser scanning and 3D printing to better plan, design, and execute a number of projects.
One of Hammad’s most rewarding jobs was helping build Calgary’s downtown Brookfield Place, a $500M project and the tallest high-rise in western Canada. His team used Building Information Modelling (BIM) to better collaborate with engineers, architects and trades. With BIM, they could see the building model and calculations in real-time – all in a virtual environment – drastically improving the process.
The fact that you can be a part of a large team that’s putting together something permanent, and adding technology to the process, is one of the coolest things,” Hammad says.
When it comes to innovation in construction, Hammad sees a bright future – and for those with a passion for technology, an exciting career path.
“One thing I know is that there’s going to be a continued need for digitization,” Hammad says. “There are a lot more technology-focused roles [now]. There’s so much room for opportunity.”