Virtual Design Analysis Group is a division of NVentum, LLC.

This unique collaborative endeavor; to utilize the latest reality capture technology to document the artifacts, buildings and campus of History San Jose, provides opportunities for private sector, non-profits and institutions of higher education to work together to solve some of today's most pressing engineering issues. The protocol for retrofitting as-built historic facilities and the use of new technologies to preserve our most prized historic treasures are vital to the continued success and expanded influence of our museums.
This blog will document the challenges and successes of this ambitious, one of a kind project.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Evergreen Valley College's VDC/BIM Programs

"Evergreen Valley College’s new BIM certificate program is designed to provide you with the necessary skills to compete for a growing number of jobs in the field of Virtual Design and Construction.  If you are already working in the Construction field or have an interest in finding out how you can enter this new occupation, take time to sign up for this new and exciting certificate program that begins in the Fall."
From Evergreen Valley College Webpage,

Santa Clara University
One of the driving factors behind the "Capturing History San Jose" project has been the lack of training opportunities available to people interested in laser scanning, VDC, BIM and many related emerging technologies. Several months ago, NVentum began the process of building relationships with various institutions of higher learning with the goal of creating a comprehensive laser scanning, VDC/BIM certification methodology and the support network necessary to sustain the program. In our minds, local universities, vocational schools and trade unions were the most likely candidates to adopt such a progressive program. The problem is the economy has many institutions reducing their curriculum. For example, the CSU system is cutting classes, raising admission and limiting students exposure to anything but core, essential components of their curriculum. At a time when we should be immersing our next generation of engineers and scientist in the technology(s) that will be in demand most, we are cutting back on educational and training programs. With the high unemployment and large numbers of members unable to pay dues, labor unions have seen major declines in revenues and have also found it necessary to reduce the amount of educational and training opportunities available to their members. This is the wrong time to reduce the amount educational resources for our citizens.

During a presentation at the San Jose campus of the Center for Employment Training (CET) a student said he was really excited to about our presentation on Reality Capture and he was hoping to find a training program to learn more about the process. He went on the mention that he was from Cambodia and he could get a laser scanning certification there but he wasn't sure it would be recognized here. He also mentioned that in Cambodia, they were studying 5D programs, not 3D!

Stanford University
This invites one very serious question; this is Silicon Valley, the cradle of technical innovation. How is it that we are not leading the world in the application and training of  VDC, BIM, 3D, 4D, 5D, reality capture? We have some of the leading engineering schools in the country yet these cutting edge concepts are not part of the curriculum. There is of course, one exception to this situation; Stanford University's Center for Integrated Facility Engineering, or CIFE research institute. CIFE is the premiere facility engineering project in the world and if you are in the Masters or PHD program at Stanford University, you've got an opportunity to apply. Otherwise, the Silicon Valley offers little in the form of education and/or training for these emerging and technical fields. Interestingly, many of the visitors to this blog are from Asia and Europe where it appears that the interest in this technology is on an upward climb.

San Jose Normal School-
Now Known As SJSU
Last summer, I heard that Evergreen Valley College was about to start the first BIM program at the Community College Level in Northern California. (Originally, I heard it was the first Community College level BIM program in the state however the L.A. Community College District's recent decision that all future L.A. Community College buildings must meet BIM established standards throws doubt on that claim.) Of course, this required my immediate attention so I emailed the Engineering Department to find out more about the programs offered. I was pleasantly surprised to find an entire department dedicated to the cutting edge technology that will become standard office tools for tomorrow's engineers and designers. Combined with the critical science of surveying and geomatics, reality capture and virtual design construction provides a unique collection of skills unavailable at most 4 year universities.

San Jose State University
Of course, it helps to have knowledgeable teachers, which Evergreen certainly has. One of them happens to be my partner at NVentum, Ken Hanna. For those of you who know Ken, you know he eats, drinks and sleeps BIM and Virtual Design Construction. When it comes to laser scanning technology, there are few who know more about the topic. The instructors in these specialized disciplines have years of instructional and practical experience however until now the program(s) were lacking a major component.

We are very excited about the partnership we've developed with Evergreen Valley College's BIM/VDC, Survey and Geomatics programs. Our collaborative efforts to map, scan and model the History San Jose campus will provide the practical learning experiences necessary to master the skills required in today's and tomorrow's job markets. The project offers opportunities for students to work directly on projects such as sustainable energy retrofits of both historic and non-historic buildings, working with cutting edge asset management technology, working with point cloud technology, software development/programming, reality capture technology, preservation and museum sciences applications, surveying and geomatics, virtual design construction/re-construction, seismic retrofits of historic and non-historic buildings, 3D models as management/operations data base, 4D VDC processes.

Evergreen Valley College
San Jose, CA.
We shouldn't have to worry about these jobs being outsourced. Most of the jobs requiring these skills are right here in the U.S.; sustainable retrofitting of as-built facilities, seismic retrofits, infrastructure monitoring and upgrades, new construction, etc.. The expanded use of these technologies will undoubtedly spin off other supporting businesses and industries that will further spur our economic growth. Before we can really begin to realize these changes, we have to provide training programs for our citizens. We shouldn't have to worry about these jobs being outsourced, unless we fail to establish training programs here, at home. Fortunately, Evergreen Valley College has taken the first major step in establishing a comprehensive program to address the void in technical training for our next generation of construction professionals, designers and engineers.

If you know of people who are looking for interesting careers and new technology(s), have them check out Evergreen Valley College in San Jose.

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