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The Student Becomes the Teacher

LESSONS LEARNED FROM 23-YEAR-OLD GRAD STUDENT CHINMAY LAD, THE 1,000TH CM-BIM CREDENTIAL HOLDER

BY A.D. THOMPSON

We can all learn something from Chinmay Lad, whose potent dreams of a civil engineering career, of an industry-wide “digital revolution,” inspired him to join the ranks of those who have earned their Certificate of Management — Building Information Modeling (CM-BIM) designation. He is the 1,000th person to do so.

While interning during the summer of 2019, Chinmay Lad worked on an elementary school.

Lad, a 23-year-old grad student, is in the process of creating his future, of realizing goals and aspirations. And in the process, he’s bringing his father’s long-held hopes to life.

“He wanted to be a civil engineer,” says Lad, “but due to the difficult financial situation of the family, he had to give up on that dream and instead started working at the age of 16.”

The dream did not die, however. It merely passed from father to son.

“As I was growing up (in a small town called Sangli in the state of Maharashtra in India), my father helped me cultivate an interest in construction.”

It persisted, culminating in a bachelor’s degree from his home nation’s Pune University. It was here, while investigating topics for his senior-year project, that he was introduced to BIM.

“I was fascinated by what technology could offer to the construction industry,” Lad says, but he had no resources to learn more, and it wasn’t a part of his coursework, so he taught himself Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Navisworks in order to facilitate a BIM-focused project.

The experience became a springboard, a primary factor in choosing Virginia Tech for his construction management master’s program.

“The decision to come to the states has served me well, as my knowledge and understanding of [BIM] has increased exponentially,” says Lad. “More than half of the courses I have taken so far have had BIM in them, but all of the BIM coursework across the country lacks an important aspect: the actual implementation of BIM in the industry.”

The software that enables the process, Lad notes, is not BIM.

“I wanted to learn about this process and how BIM is incorporated throughout the lifecycle of a project. I could not have asked for a better resource than AGC’s BIM Education Program to fill the gaps in my knowledge.”

Lad says it covers all the aspects necessary for someone to become a BIM leader in the industry, from an introduction well suited for complete newcomers, to all of its technological options, to the BIM Project Execution Plan. Related legal concepts, adoption, implementation and even ROI.

“Everything that is not covered anywhere else,” he notes. “And the learning is supported by some fun activities that include Legos to demonstrate the potential of BIM.”

ICING ON THE CAKE

The process, Lad says, ranks among the best customer experiences he’s ever had.

“The opportunity to learn from instructors well versed in the trade … and interact with like-minded learners passionate about BIM, each of whom had a different objective.”

“Even before the actual credentialing process, when I had emailed AGC with my queries, it did not take them more than a few minutes to respond,” he told Constructor, noting that he worked primarily with Kim Tracy, program director at AGC of Metropolitan Washington D.C.

“During the credentialing process, she made sure everyone involved was comfortable and resolved any issues that arose.”

AGC reps, he notes, were outstanding ambassadors for the association.

“It has been a great overall experience.”

Lad didn’t know he was No. 1,000 until he was contacted by Constructor.

“Having a story about me in AGC’s Constructor was something I could not have even dreamed about,” he told us. In fact, he laughs, it seemed too good to be true — so he wrote to Tracy to make sure we were legit.

“She was as prompt as ever and reached out to the national chapter and got back to me. When I found out this was for real, my excitement grew manifold! I indeed feel very happy to have been the 1,000th person to earn this credential!”

Lad is working toward graduation in May of 2020, after which he’ll be actively looking for positions.

“I would love to be a part of a company that is leading innovation and technology in the construction industry and help bring about a digital revolution,” he says. “Technology is the aspect of construction that interests me the most, and it is here (in the United States) where it is realizing its potential.”

As a student, opting in for the AGC’s educational program and exam was a big leap. Lad is pleased he took it.

“All the money that I earned during my summer internship was used to gain this credential, and I am very proud of it. My objective was to better prepare myself for the industry and move a step closer to my goal of becoming a BIM manager in the future…. CM-BIM has been a very important step in my path so far. The knowledge that I have gained through the education program is unparalleled and unique.”

Lad is confident it will help him stand out — and finds himself
re-energized on his chosen path. He spent the summer interning for a construction firm and that experience helped him earn his CM-BIM. He worked on an elementary school in Woodbridge, Va., and it cemented his certainty that he’d chosen well.

Technology is the aspect of construction that interests me the most, and it is here (in the United States) where it is realizing its potential.

Chinmay Lad

“I could not have asked for a better experience, as I was dropped into action right from the first day on a project that was very difficult. I spent a lot of time in the field and learned a lot. Being out in the field is very important in the construction industry, as it is the only way to learn how things are actually built. Everything else, even technology, has the purpose of making things easier for people in the field.”

When the project neared completion, later than expected and after his internship had ended, he rented a car just to take a day trip out and see the school.

“It filled me with pride and happiness. I was overwhelmed by the feeling that I helped create this. It’s the reason I am in construction.”

CM-BIM, he says, has been a very important step in his path
so far.     A

CERTIFICATE OF MANAGEMENT—BUILDING INFORMATION MODELING

The AGC Certificate of Management-Building Information Modeling (CM-BIM) is an assessment-based certificate credential that denotes knowledge and understanding of concepts related to BIM adoption, practice and process transformation outlined in the AGC BIM Education Program (https://www.agc.org/learn/education-training/building-information-modeling-education-program). Successful candidates who pass the exam will carry the CM-BIM designation.

Eligibility Requirements

CM-BIM candidates must attend all four AGC BIM Education Program courses. Applications will not be processed if all units have not been completed by the application date. Once CM-BIM candidates complete the four mandatory courses, they are eligible to register for the exam by filling out the online CM-BIM Exam application.

CM-BIM Exam Prep Course

An optional CM-BIM Exam Prep Course is available for purchase to support a candidate’s review and study for the exam.

This two-hour self-paced e-learning course reviews the process of BIM as taught in AGC’s BIM Education Program. The course is designed to supplement a learner’s review and study of the curriculum’s four units as they prepare for the CM-BIM exam.

For more information, please visit https://www.agc.org/learn/education-training/building-information-modeling/certificate-management-building-information.