Bentley Award winner conquers three weeks of work overnight with RefManager.

By on

  • LONDON, ENGLAND — Famous for — among many other things — the BBC, Big Ben and the River Thames, London is where we caught up with this month’s showcased MicroStation user — Steve Wright, an Associate at environmentally-minded United Kingdom engineering firm whitbybird. Steve kindly took time to share with MicroStation Today his love of football (soccer) and how he kept on schedule for one of his biggest projects.

    Steve Wright, Associate at United Kingdom engineering firm Whitbybird

    MicroStation Today: Please give a short background of your CAD history.
    Steve: I joined whitbybird in 1988 as a draftsman and started using CAD in 1989 using a program called CADBuild (an early CAD software package). Whitbybird migrated to MicroStation in 1994 after we had success using Bentley’s 3D steelwork modeling packages. We started using Triforma in 1999 and later we included Bentley Structural (Bentley’s design and documentation solution for structural systems, like steel, timber and concrete) in our collection of CAD programs. We are now one of the leading engineering practices that uses 3D technology to produce 2D drawings. I have been fortunate to help develop the whitbybird CAD systems from its inception to our current 3D-modeling environment. In 2003, one of my Triforma models won the Bentley Award at the BE Conference held in Baltimore, Maryland.

    MST: What is your title? What are your daily duties
    Steve: I was promoted to Associate last year. My main responsibilities are the day-to-day running of CAD resources company-wide. This includes recruitment, workload management and telephone support for technical problems. I am also responsible for the continuing development and maintenance of the CAD systems and whitbybird CAD Standard. I am still involved in working on live projects and producing 3D models for 2D drawing extractions.

    MST: What have been some of your biggest jobs
    Steve: The major project I have been involved with over the last five years has been the redevelopment of the BBC Broadcasting House in London. This is a part refurbishment and part new build project worth approximately £350 million [Editor’s note: that’s over $600 million US]. This is a very interesting project because due to the proximity of the London Underground tube lines (London’s subway system) and the sensitivity of recording equipment, the entire building has to be acoustically isolated. In order to achieve this, all the columns are “broken” at the underside of the first floor level and an isolating spring is placed at the “breakpoint” to act as a damper. The project was also a challenge to model due to the complexity of the structure. It is currently the biggest Triforma model in the office.

    MST: How has RefManager helped you get work done
    Steve: We purchased Axiom’s RefManager in 2002. This was for a specific project, which was one of the largest projects in the office at the time. The project was two years old and the drawing and model file naming protocols had to be revised to suit a new project-based CAD standard. We had over 175 design files plus all the relevant reference/model files — a total of over 600 separate design files to rename and, more importantly, keep the reference file paths intact. To do this manually would be a very laborious task for someone to carry out. In addition, we had to be sure that the final results were going to be perfect, as the project schedule was still moving ahead.

    MST: How much time and money would you say RefManager saved whitbybird
    Steve: We estimated that the renaming of 600 design files would take us three man-weeks to complete, which would have been a major problem for the overall project schedule. This is why we looked at and finally purchased RefManager. We ran RefManager overnight and the results were perfect. All the files were renamed and the reference file paths were intact. This couldn’t have been done without RefManager.

    Graph showing Steve Wright’s time savings on one project using RefManager.

    MST: What’s your favorite TV show
    Steve: I do not have a favorite TV show as such as I tend to watch a lot of sports on TV. My favorite sports to watch are cricket, golf and any football game involving Arsenal [Editor’s note: Arsenal is a London-based soccer team that was first formed by a group of factory workers in 1886].

    MST: If you could have a conversation with anyone, living or deceased, who would it be
    Steve: My choice would be Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the Victorian engineer. His work was so diversified — railways, buildings, tunnels, bridges and ships. He pushed Victorian engineering knowledge to the limit. I feel it would be very interesting to hear the man talk about out where he got his drive, ideas and inspiration from.

    MST: What would be the first thing you would do if you won £10 million in the lottery
    Steve: Buy a hospitality box at the new Arsenal Stadium.

    MST: Thank you very much for talking with us, Steve.

    See for Yourself...
    Get FREE Trial Versions
    * Select one or more of the following:

    Enter "AutoCAD" before submitting.