CanBIM: Tell us about your background and why you chose to dedicate your time to the CanBIM community?
Catherine: I act as Associate General Counsel for IBI Group, which is a global architecture, engineering, planning and technology firm focused on creating intelligent systems, sustainable buildings and efficient infrastructure. I manage disputes and risk on our projects worldwide and, as part of that, I have worked closely with our design technology leads. Early on in my work for IBI it struck me that BIM and Digital Transformation, or DT, have a great capacity to reduce risk for all stakeholders in the AECOO space. When Andrea Lee (Glaholt Bowles LLP) reached out to see if I might be interested in participating in the Project Delivery and Risk Management Think Tank a few years ago, I jumped at the chance to work with her and the rest of our team. Our Think Tank is a diverse group of industry leaders and we have a great mix of design, risk management and legal expertise. Selfishly, I learn a lot working with the professionals in our Think Tank, and I am really inspired by the work of the greater CanBIM community. My involvement in CanBIM has made me a better advocate for design professionals, which makes this a really easy organization to dedicate my time to.
CanBIM: What technologies do you think are necessary for the AECOO industry to adopt in order to keep up with the changes and challenges we’ve experienced this past year?
Catherine: 2020 is the year that we all got better at managing technology to enable remote work. I think that BIM and DT professionals were particularly well prepared for this transition. So, as a starting point, I think all AECOO industry stakeholders (read: not just the design teams) need to get better acquainted with BIM and DT and how to use it to their best advantage to complete better projects. The Project Delivery and Risk Management Think Tank is working on an initiative to improve education around this as we speak. I am hopeful that 2021 is the year that we learn how to work in real life again, but there can be no question that it will be very different. Workplaces will need to adapt to a new way of working that is more flexible, while at the same time ensuring health and safety in a new and more rigorous way. As a result, automation that enables smart buildings and smart cities will be even more accelerated than it has been in recent years.
CanBIM: What interests you most about the future of the AECOO industry? Design impacts all areas of our lives and the projects that CanBIM professionals work on change the spaces we live, work and travel in. Looking to the future, I am most interested in how data and predictive analytics can be used – ethically – to improve design and build smart cities.
CanBIM: What does it mean to you to have received the 2020 Trailblazer Award?
Catherine: As a lawyer, I am a guest in the design and technology world, so winning the CanBIM Trailblazer Award is a huge honour for me (and you have made my parents very proud!). I have already received far more from my involvement in CanBIM than I have given, so I am very motivated to even the score and get started on our Think Tank’s 2021 projects, which include two projects that are very important to me: