VICKSBURG, Miss.- Brandon Meinert, an advanced modeling manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Kansas City District, was recognized Sept. 15 as a graduate of U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) six-month detail program, known as ERDC University (ERDC-U).
He presented his research project to ERDC leadership during the live and virtual event held on the Vicksburg, Mississippi, campus. His graduation certificate was presented by ERDC Deputy Director Dr. Beth Fleming and ERDC Commander Col. Christian Patterson.
Employed with the district for 14 years, Meinert is a technical specialist responsible for leading and supporting the use of advanced modeling technology, training staff, performing quality control and quality assurance on all computer-aided design and building information modeling (CAD/BIM) deliverables and ensuring all advanced modeling processes happen in parallel to support the project’s lifecycle.
With his project titled “Digital Twins: The Future of Project Delivery & Facility Management,” Meinert said that from a project delivery perspective, “projects are becoming more and more complex these days, generating massive amounts of data at an alarming rate, often going unutilized due to disconnected systems. This in turn creates challenges for project teams to maintain a single source of truth and make well-informed timely decisions.”
The common data environment, or CDE, is the single source of information used to collect, manage and disseminate documentation, the graphical model and non-graphical data for the project team.
“Today, project teams require a CDE to effectively integrate systems and visualize the project holistically to run ‘what-if’ scenarios, assess design changes, cost and schedule impacts, weather disruptions and security events,” Meinert said. “These are critical to simulate, predict and inform decisions based on real-world conditions.”
Meinert worked with mentors, Andrew Ross, architect with ERDC’s Information Technology Laboratory (ITL), and Mariangelica Carrasquilo-Mangual, chief of ITL’s CAD/BIM Technology Center. Additional project team members included Jonathan Boone, ITL research civil engineer; Kelly Irvin, ITL computer scientist; Jeremy Herring, ITL research mechanical engineer; Megan Gonzalez, ITL computer scientist who also serves as an advisor; and USACE Common Operating Picture (UCOP) members Beth Adams, a geographer with USACE Philadelphia District and HQUSACE UCOP program manager Wilson Miller.
“Facility owners require an interconnected system that can effectively report on occupiable space, maintainable assets, egress routes, building automation systems, security and more,” Meinert said.
“A Digital Twin of the facility that includes these data points in a single common operating platform can save hundreds of hours of maintenance while creating a repository for as-built documentation,” he continued. “The goal of this research project is to develop a deployable digital twin concept to support active project delivery utilizing datasets from the ERDC headquarters campus with follow on opportunities to integrate it into the Virtual Testbed for Installation Effectiveness portal to support higher level goals of Army Installation Strategy and infrastructure modernization.”
ERDC-U Program Manager Antisa Webb said, “This is an exciting opportunity for the selectees to help shape the future of the Corps of Engineers’ technical knowledge base. Participants gain knowledge of ERDC science and technology, collaborate and partner with ERDC researchers to grow programs, and explore opportunities for career advancement. The goals are to establish a process that leverages workforce development with collaborations and partnerships across the USACE.”
To learn more about ERDC University, including application requirements for the upcoming session which opens Oct. 1, 2022, please visit https://wiki.erdc.dren.mil/index.php?title=ERDC_University