Innovation and Inspiration: Annual BIM Day for Royal Engineers

Following Armed Forces Day, Andrew Johnson shares the success of BIM Academy’s Annual Day for Royal Engineers 2023

BIM Academy, founded by Northumbria University and Ryder, recently held its Annual BIM Day for Royal Engineers, an event to showcase and inspire the next generation of leaders in engineering and construction.

I have always believed in the transformative power of shared knowledge.  This year’s annual BIM Day for Royal Engineers is a testament to this conviction.  Handpicked from the Professional Engineering Wing (PEW) of the Corps of Royal Engineers in the British Army, the attendees demonstrated their remarkable dedication and expertise by earning their places through an arduous selection process to get on the Clerk of Works and Military Plant Foreman courses.

This selection process has a special place in my heart, as I found myself in their shoes in 2007.  I can still recall the sense of anticipation and determination as I navigated through the Military Plant Foreman course selection.  This challenging experience fortified my resolve and played a crucial role in shaping my engineering career.  Understanding their journey firsthand ignites my passion for arming these budding leaders with the knowledge and tools they need to thrive in this dynamic industry.

This year, we opted for a change of scenery and hosted the event at the London City Institute of Technology (LCIoT), a collaborative effort with Newham College of Further Education.  We considered it essential to expose the students to a different environment that breeds innovation and inspiration.


The students heard from our panel of Ryder speakers throughout the day.  Allan Binns expanded on BIM’s relevance to Health and Safety, Bola Abisogun OBE discussed Diversity in Construction, Paul Thorpe gave the students a glimpse into the world of Contractors, and Romane Sanchez showcased how digital tools have revolutionised design.

We were fortunate to hear Eszter Gulacsy from Mott MacDonald share her unique insights on sustainability and the circular economy.  Elliott Crossley from BDP, with his presentation on the use of digital design in the Palace of Westminster’s restoration, opened the student’s eyes to the application of digital technologies in the preservation of our cultural heritage.  One session that undoubtedly sparked curiosity was on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact on digital architecture.  The students witnessed firsthand the game changing power of digital tools and the pioneering advancements that BIM Academy is making in this arena.

Beyond the presentations, what truly set this BIM Day apart was the high level of student engagement.  The inquisitive questions and deep conversations showcased the students’ potential as future discipline leaders.  The day was filled with a sense of promise and determination that will shape the future of engineering and construction.

The BIM Day is more than just an event, it is an experience—an exchange of ideas, a demonstration of the potential of new technologies, and an exploration of the industry’s future.  It is a day that represented the ethos of the BIM Academy: to inspire, innovate, and inform.

As a supporter of the Armed Forces Covenant, Ryder recognises those who have performed military duties, and actively ensures its people are aware of veterans, as they share the same values and standards.  Through BIM Academy and our Annual BIM Days, we continue to share the stories of others in the armed forces community.

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Armed Forces Covenant

On 30 October Ryder signed the Armed Forces Covenant - a corporate pledge to support the armed forces community.