Driving the Industry Forward
Simon Leung in his own words
Simon Leung is a senior lecturer at London South Bank University, where he teaches structural engineering to students studying for their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. StrXur caught up with him at Bluebeam Extreme Conference Europe, the annual gathering that draws hundreds of AEC professionals from across the continent to exchange ideas, share innovations and network. Leung is passionate about preparing students to enter the workforce in an industry that is increasingly asking its young professionals to be technology leaders and innovators. We asked him to tell us, in his own words, how he uses Bluebeam Revu in his practice and in the classroom.
I’m a chartered structural engineer, so I worked for several consultancies in London. I also teach university-level students. The main drive for me to move from being in a design consultancy business to academia is to give back to the industry, trying to encourage people to take up engineering. If you see construction nowadays in London, we’re building tall buildings, we’re building massive infrastructure. We need a lot of skilled engineers. I really want to encourage more students to have an impact on the industry. I draw on my industry experience so that the students can connect with what they’ll be doing day in, day out. We’re trying to relate their coursework to real-life projects. I arrange industrial site visits. We’ve gone to sites where they can see how buildings are constructed. I’m trying to motivate them that it’s not all just about calculations, but you can actually make a big impact on society by getting involved in design, building buildings and building infrastructure for the UK.
In terms of what I teach, Bluebeam is one of the best tools on the market for collaboration, especially the Studio side of it. I’ve used it for the last seven years. When I was working with architects, for example, it was important to be able to review and revise a drawing so clearly, concisely, and to combine it together and send it out in a very short time frame using overlay. That’s why I teach it to my students—understanding how to comment on drawings, how to do revisions, drawing sets—that is really important.
I encourage the use of the software within the curriculum, so when my students go out to work in the industry after graduation, they know some basics. The main thing about Bluebeam as it’s used in the industry, no matter whether you’re working for a contractor, consultant or architects, is collaboration. Interdisciplinary coordination is very key. When my students graduate and work in the industry, they know a bit of Bluebeam and how they can use that tool to coordinate comments and feedback, and with other disciplines as well.
Bluebeam’s got 1 million users worldwide. I’ve been speaking to one of the engineers here at Extreme Conference, and he told me that it’s one of the tools he uses every day, he just can’t work without it. So that is one of the key things I know from the industry users nowadays: Revu is becoming one of the main tools they use in terms of drawing and coordination. It’s really making an impact. It’s driving the industry forward.