Water at Autodesk University: Day One

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Eric Suesz September 28, 2022 3 min read

Autodesk University got off to a rousing start yesterday, with CEO Andrew Anagnost strolling on stage to the fanfare of a New Orleans brass band. This is the first time in three years AU has been held, owing to the pandemic, and the first time the event has been held in the Big Easy.

Andrew dropped a new paradigm on the audience and introduced three industry clouds as part of the Autodesk Platform: Autodesk Forma, Autodesk Flow and Autodesk Fusion. The goal is to support and advance our customers’ digital transformation journeys by connecting workflows in the cloud for better outcomes and workflows.

Andrew’s opening talk was broadcast live, which you can watch now. Skip through the musical introduction while the crowd gathers to the 30-minute mark (unless you’re really feeling the groove) and hear about the strong focus on interoperability and open standards in this announcement.

Water sessions at AU

An Innovative Approach to Emergency Response Planning with Innovyze kicked off the day’s presentations about water. This talk about the city of Livonia was also a subject of a recent Water Talk featuring Susan Knepper of OHM Advisors. She expanded on the details at Autodesk University to show the tech history of her client – all the different digital approaches they attempted before finally landing on InfoWater Pro.

One of the most interesting details shared was about how, when a water main broke, the workers struggled to solve the problem because they hadn’t had an opportunity to practice the scenario beforehand. It was a great example of how a consultant can hop into an organization and set them up for future success using the power of organized scenario management in InfoWater Pro to train critical personnel.

Another standout water-focussed session was Multiple Basin Design Using Innovyze InfoDrainage, Civil 3d, and InfraWorks. Ryan Brown welcomed ATG USA Senior Civil Technical Specialist William Neuhauser and Chad Qualley, Corporate CAD Manager, Houston Engineering Inc., who presented a case study that detailed the power of InfraWorks software and InfoDrainage to locate and design basins for a proposed 5,000-lot subdivision in Colorado. They showed how they imported the architect’s lot layout and overlay on an existing Civil 3D surface in InfraWorks – and then laid out the basin, pipes, swales, channel, and everything else in InfoDrainage. This is an excellent example of taking a spreadsheet that is mandated for use by a local governing body and taking it much further by transforming that spreadsheet into a fully digital solution.

Colby Manwaring welcomes Innovyze customers to our community meetup.

Let’s Talk Water’ community roundtable 

A big highlight for the Innovyze team was our community meetup. Autodesk Vice President, Innovyze Colby Manwaring welcomed the crowd with a spread of snacks (beignets!) and set them to work in groups to brainstorm specific topics, which they then presented to the room after spirited discussion and whiteboarding. Topics included: Are we still dealing with the 1-in-100 year storm event? When will green infrastructure be the standard – and not the exception? Digital Twins, asset management – they covered top-of-mind topics at AU, and they came up with some excellent points of view.

Our favorite quote from one of the presenters, who carefully examined the objections he often hears about pursuing SuDS approaches. What do you do when a skeptic says, “But what if the collection pond collects trash?” His suggestion: “A pond doesn’t generate rubbish – people generate rubbish.” We heard lots of great arguments like this that get to the root of the problems industry professionals often face when trying to convince decision makers to put sustainability at the forefront.

Innovyze customers tackle the issues of the day at Autodesk University.

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