HDR Digital Design Expert Cameron Schaefer Finalist for International Innovator of the Year Award

Cameron Schaefer
Cameron Schaefer

Each year, design technology company Autodesk celebrates an Innovator of the Year, honoring an architecture, engineering and construction practitioner who is reimagining the design and construction practice through the use of technology. With nominations from around the world, the competition recognizes the top digital design experts in the industry. Cameron Schaefer, P.E., a project manager and digital design lead at HDR, certainly fits that description.

Schaefer has been finding new efficiencies and pushing boundaries throughout his career. As digital design lead on the LAX Automated People Mover project, he oversees building information modeling work on one of the largest BIM projects in the nation, with more than 180 design models, created and maintained by more than 300 BIM designers.

Autodesk’s Rosanne Siegel, who nominated Schaefer, called him passionate, confident and visionary. She cited his work on the APM project, where he shaped a new bridge design workflow that substantially increased efficiency on the landmark project. Schaefer, she said, “is keeping Autodesk on our toes by applying our tools in different ways to very unique and large projects. He’s able to take disconnected pieces of a puzzle, round the edges and make it into a masterpiece of a workflow.”

Besides his work in Los Angeles, Schaefer was also the project manager for HDR’s first pilot project for using artificial intelligence to derive corridor planimetrics, paving the way for automated feature extraction of highway corridors. He is also now contributing his expertise to the Ontario Line subway project in Toronto, where the bridge design workflow he and his team helped pioneer at LAX is also being put to use.

“Cameron is a fantastic partner and innovator,” said Pat Hickox, HDR’s professional services director for transportation. “He’s always looking for more efficient, more accurate and more user-friendly ways of completing projects, a benefit for us at HDR as well as the clients we serve.”

A panel of industry judges will determine the winner of the 2020 Innovator award, based on their use of emerging technology, innovative process development and their work as a champion of new technology. The winner will be announced in October and featured at Autodesk University in November.