Known to his colleagues as ‘The BIM Boy’, Enrico Calzavara is a young Italian working at Ferrovial Agroman since 2015. The reason behind the name? If there’s one thing that makes him passionate about his job, it’s being involved in the modernization of the construction sector, for example, through the Building Information Modelling (BIM) methodology. You can learn more about Enrico and his day to day through this interview.
Read the keys to work in the world of BIM (Building Information Modelling), with Enrico Calvazara
- What’s your name?
- Do they call you by any special nickname at the office?
They call me The BIM Guy. Even though I think many people do not even know what it means, they just use it because BIM is my role and that appears in my signature. ?
- Where are you from?
From the best city in the world: Venice, Italy.
- How old are you?
30… but I have been 30 for I don’t know how many years! 🙂
- In which of the company’s business units do you work?
I work in BIM (Building Information Modelling), in the Innovation department of Ferrovial Agroman.
- What is that exactly?
The role is called BIM Coordinator, and deals with the coordination of everything related to 3D and 4D models and information (metadata) associated with the model, meaning the work project.
- How long have you been in your industry?
I have been working in BIM since my final years in university, in 2010.
- And since how long have you been working at Ferrovial?
- If you were talking to a child, how would you explain your work?
I take my phone, I open a 3D model for them to play with, and I put it in Virtual Reality mode and “walk” virtually through the project.
- Why did you decide to make this your profession?
I think the most difficult and important part of any job is to transmit information in the simplest and clearest way possible. So I like to translate/transform what may be “complicated” in construction language into something “simple” and easy to understand for those who do not know much about technical drawings, planning and constructive sequences.
- What was your career plan? What did you study?
Really until high school I did not have much idea of what I wanted to do “as an adult”. I studied electronics and telecommunications, but I realized that it was not what I really wanted to do. I imagined myself building something big, visible, so I enrolled in the university of engineering of buildings and I did a master’s degree in civil engineering. Of course, what I studied has been very helpful to get the job done, but another 50% I learned on my own, because of my curiosity and I was excited about exploring new technologies.
- Tell us what a normal day looks like for you.
Each day is very different from the one before and the one after. There are days that I have to create images or 3D animations to explain and understand some construction methodologies. Others that I have to translate the work project calendar into graphics. Some days, the security team looks to me to prepare visual material for the site inductions. There are also days that I spend more time on research, for example on how to make technical communication at the worksite more efficient And of course there are also “more boring” days, from the outside looking in, where you have to understand how all the information required by the client can be combined with the 3D model and delivered digitally; avoiding the cost of paper and creating physical files that take up entire rooms and that are practically never used again once delivered.
- What do you like most about your career?
It is something relatively new and I like the idea of modernizing the world of construction with the incredible amount of technology that is available and that just a couple of years ago started to be used in the sector.
BIM helps save money and time. We build a project virtually to understand all (or almost all) errors and difficulties that could occur in reality. Then we solve them virtually, without resources and materials, so that in construction everything can be built as planned, and avoid improper execution and/or planning.
- What do you like most about working at Ferrovial?
In the work projects where I have been, there is always a good atmosphere, very good treatment between colleagues and that helps the collaboration between everyone. I also find it very interesting to be able to work on different projects countries. Until recently, I lived in London. I have been living in Australia for a few months and I’m working on Harwood Bridge’s project.
- What project do you feel most proud of?
I have been involved to a great extent in the Northern Line Extension project, the extension of an existing underground line in London. The project is very big, very important and the team has been doing an amazing job with all tasks. Although I was transferred before it was completed, I am very proud to have participated in one of the largest infrastructure projects in the United Kingdom, and to have been part of such an advanced and professional team.
- How would you encourage future generations to pursue your profession?
It is not very difficult: when you show them the results of what we do with Digital Engineering, young people are very excited since they grow up in a completely digital world and have it in their blood already. I think they are impressed to see how a science as old as construction has been modernized with the integration of the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, off-site pre-production and assembly… as if it were Lego.
- If I wanted to pursue the same career as you, what would you advise me to study or get involved with?
I personally believe that a career in Building Engineering or Architecture is highly recommended for understanding the principles of construction. But there are also careers like programming or computer science that together with a master’s degree or BIM course can be a good combination. After all, IT is going to be the basis of the development of technology in construction. Now we are talking a lot about parametric modelling, where the design of a work project is done automatically through algorithms.
- Have you thought of continuing your studies?
Yes, I always like to be up to date with BIM, I try to sign up for at least one course each year (fortunately Ferrovial supports the professional development of its employees). I also like to sign up for technical knowledge development courses offered at the Ferrovial Corporate University.
- And when you aren’t designing 3D models, what do you like to do?
I really like nature, leisure activities and music. Now I am lucky to live and work in a town with a beach, so I am going to try to do a surf course on the weekend. I also am really into cars and motorcycles… I would love for Ferrovial to have a motorsport team to participate in them one day!
- What kind of music do you like?
To tell the truth, all kinds.
- A book?
Right now I’m reading George Orwell’s 1984: highly recommended in case you haven’t read it yet: The visionary, futuristic vision is frightening and shakes up simulation and actual reality!
- And from TV?
I follow YouTube programs, so I would recommend spending time with “The Modern Life”, a Millennial program that very often comes with me in modeling work tasks.
- A TV series?
For me, there are few that reach the level of “Suits!” “How I Met Your Mother” also is one of my favourites. I learned to speak Spanish with it.
- Are you someone that helps motivate colleagues?
Yes, I like to encourage my colleagues to do afterwork, afternoons and evenings or during free time…I pretend I’m still a young guy! ?
- Share a life tip?
Although it sounds very repetitive, I like to emphasize that you always have to pursue what you want. Many times I have encountered difficult challenges, fixed objectives that at first seemed like utopias … but in the end, if one is convinced that it is “there” where you want to reach, somehow the moment arrives that everything is aligned and you get what you are looking for. You always have to try! You always have to go after what you want! You may not always attain it, but the moment you do, you feel that all the effort was worth it.