Mortenson Intern Awarded Bluebeam CDX Research Scholarship
By: Aaron Cornelius
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Despite technology advancements, data interoperability remains a critical barrier to streamlining construction processes. Since 2019, Bluebeam has given $20,000 annually into a Common Data Exchange (CDX) scholarship fund. Each summer, a new class of interns and grad student researchers document a current state process pain point of their choosing using the CDX framework. They then analyze the root causes before proposing a future-state solution to a panel of construction technology experts in August.

The scholarship competition is put on by the Construction Progress Coalition, a 501-C3 educational non-profit whose stated mission is to improve construction outcomes through the alignment of project insight demands and data interoperability needs.

Applicants are selected by a panel of construction professionals and the few who are selected to advance in the program receive a $2,000 scholarship. Finalists then complete a research project, present their findings, and judges select the most 'innovative' solution that receives an additional $2,000 scholarship. 

This year, our very own Brayden Kirk, integrated construction coordinator intern in the Sports Group, who's studying architecture at North Dakota State University, was one of eight finalists selected for a $2,000 scholarship. His presentation was a case study on the coordination process at ASU Multi-purpose Arena in Tempe, Arizona.

His research project focused on design phase change management, specifically on the DAS scope. He identified unique key pain points for the owner, architect, designer, general contractor, and trade partners and put forward a solution utilizing Autodesk Construction Cloud's new bridge feature that eliminates redundant manual data entry, communication lags, and duplicate model information and saves time for all people involved.

"Communicating late-stage design changes was a main pain point for the project," Brayden said. "The Autodesk Bridge feature could help improve collaboration, reduce rework, and better control project information."

Jared Coelho, senior manager at Autodesk who was on the panel of judges, said Brayden displayed a deep understanding of the complex design process, the pain points associated with it, and put forward an innovative solution to improve the process for everyone.

"This is an interesting and elegant workflow that would work beautifully," Coelho said.

Though Brayden's summer internship at Mortenson has come to a close and he's headed back to NDSU for his junior year, he had a few words of advice for future interns.

"Learn from the talented people at Mortenson," he said. "This is my third internship at Mortenson and researching this topic introduced me to a lot of skilled construction people I would have never gotten to meet. I am really grateful for that."