BIM Brunch: Lee Mullin

BIM Brunch - Lee Mullin

BIM Brunch is the perfect accompaniment to your dinner break. Featuring some major players from the #GlobalBIMCrew, BIM Brunch is an interview segment where BIM specialists talk about their passion for Building Information Modelling. Sitting down for brunch today is Autodesk‘s Construction Technical Specialist – Northern Europe, Lee Mullin. Lee discusses his favourite building in London, following Gary Lineker on social media and heading to Las Vegas every year for Autodesk University!

What is your favourite career related website/blog?

I spend a lot of time on Twitter and LinkedIn as the range of content available there means I can get access to a wide range of opinions, views and information about self-improvement, the built environment and technology industries.

Do you have a favourite industry book, magazine or publication?

I check and several times a week to keep on top of the latest industry news.

The top industry event you have recently been to is?

I’m lucky enough to get to a wide range of events with my role and love the range of topics and networking opportunities available at Autodesk University and BIM Show Live. However, I think the most pleasant surprise was the BIM4Real event. It was great to see people from all sides of the industry looking sharing their thoughts on how to set up a hypothetical project and the debate and conversation based on different experiences was a real eye opener.

Favourite Twitter handles to follow?

It’s tough to narrow down to just a few! I think the group of people posting to #UKBIMCrew have shown what BIM is by collaborating on topics and sharing information when they really don’t have to. Outside of our industry, I always look forward to tweets from @scroobiuspipyo @GaryLineker @PeteMcKee @bestfitmusic and @phlaimeaux.

What is your all-time favourite building?

I love the Lloyd’s Building in London. When I first visited London when I was a student, I found the blend of old and new fascinating. As a Northerner, I still tend to be the one looking up in fascination when walking around London and looking at the details; it’s a shame so many people just let it pass by.

What is your favourite project you have worked on?

There’s so many building and infrastructure projects I’ve had some level of involvement with in support or consultancy roles, however just being able to get involved with the development process of industry leading technology like Navisworks and BIM 360 is incredibly rewarding. I still get kicks out whenever I see or hear about our technology being used by customers or shown on television.

What is the best thing about the team at Autodesk?

I’m lucky enough to work with a wide range of passionate individuals who want to improve the way things are done and regularly coming up with innovative answers to problems. I’m very happy to call many of them not only colleagues but friends.

What was the first BIM related project you have been a part of and what did you learn from the experience?

When I started working for Navisworks around 10 years ago, I was working in product support and on a daily basis speaking to someone on the Heathrow Terminal 5 project. They were heavy users of clash detection and the construction simulation. That very quickly taught me that knowing the features in the software is all well and good but processes are much more important. Knowing how a model will be used downstream can reduce the need for design changes and makes the whole process smoother and easier to get buy in.

The most exciting possibilities Building Information Modelling can offer are?

I look after construction and whilst FM are barely scratching the surface with what BIM can do, there’s a huge largely untapped potential for construction. Many companies I work with have a BIM department or practitioners, however getting BIM out to the masses opens up vast possibilities around the sharing of information between the site and the office. Linking that to the technology revolutions we’re seeing in wearable and mobile technology and the ability to share information seamlessly through the cloud I think we’re at a very exciting juncture.

Who or what made you want to work within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction sector?

I fell into the industry by accident really. I trained to be a design and technology teacher and decided it wasn’t for me so when looking for a job, a little startup called Navisworks Ltd in Sheffield were looking for someone. I had some CAD experience from university and found myself working on projects like Heathrow T5 within the first few weeks. From then, I was hooked!

What is your proudest career highlight?

The first time I went to Autodesk University I was amazed how many people knew me from my blog and came up and introduced themselves to me in the corridors and at my talk. I’d largely been office-based up until that point so to realise that the things I was writing and working on were helping our customers out so much made me very proud. That combined with being able to say I was going to Las Vegas for work to talk about Star Wars!

What is the best part about your job?

I regularly get told by friends that I don’t have a real job. It does feel like that sometimes and I get to see some wonderful places and meet some truly inspiring people. However the geek in me still loves playing with the technology, trying out new workflows, and pushing the boundaries of what we can do with our technology.

Check back on Tuesday December 2nd, 2014 for the next edition of BIM Brunch.

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