Younger generations will allow our professions to finally evolve and embrace this digital era.
As a groundbreaking example of this mutation, we’re receiving this week a young engineer from ESTP, Mr Yousheng Wang, passionate about engineering, technology, development and BIM. He will tell us more about his beautiful and unconventional journey from his native China to the ESTP School in Troyes where he continues his studies as an engineer and designer. Awesome!
Site personnel : http://yousheng.fr/
Hi Yousheng, could you please first introduce yourself and explain why you decided to study engineering?
Hi, I am currently a student in 3rd year at ESTP. Prior to this, I got my bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at Wuhan University, in China. Currently, I am in internship at Vinci Construction France in Lyon in the field of BIM innovation.
Talking about the reason I chose the engineering to study, I think the answer is always linked with the radical definition of an engineer. All Along the way of my studies in China, I have always been confronted with the big gap between theory and practical use. The reality: knowing that education allows us to discover the new technologies, but while we study, there is a lack of opportunities to practice the phases of applications required. I am convinced of what engineering knowledge could do to empower me in this aspect of the practice.
I would like to make my contribution as an innovative engineer in the construction sector. My goal as a professional would be to facilitate fellow engineers’ work. It’s not a big dream like making a better world but, at least I do hope that someone can eventually benefit a lot from my achievements.
In which section and what year are you at ESTP?
I came to France in September 2016 after 4 years of studies in China (bac + 4), and I was admitted by ESTP in equivalence of 2nd year in the "Building section ". Last year, as a 3rd year student, I decided to follow the "Product Design" option in the new ESTP campus in Troyes. It offers a training program that allows me to orient myself towards innovation and project management.
As an engineer, I realized that there is a trend that I wanted to dive into technical details. As a result, it could also probably leads me to lose the “big picture”, and also miss the complete understanding of my job. The "Design" option, instead, allows me to have a better understanding of engineering from a designer perspective. This brings me a lot in the area of creation and innovation as well as human senses.
I would like to take a conceptual lighting system as a simple example here. It’s a conceptual system that could track people moving in a room. This is achieved by motion sensors. There would be lights switching when someone passes by. You can choose a different colour, and the light color is alternative. When a person has passed by another, it will then produce mixed colors. This mechanism gives a human sense to our apartment about how much time that we’ve spent inside everyday. And it also has a meaning of "Companionship". Here is a nice video on YouTube for reference.
Why did you choose ESTP instead of another school?
Encouraged by Mr. Yinjun JIANG (PhD in mechanical engineering field, Wuhan University, China), I decided to come to France to continue my studies. M.JIANG was a researcher at ENSTA in Paris. He taught me the importance of developing my reflections and methodologies as an engineer. He advised me to go to an engineering school in France.
So, here I am. Frankly, ESTP is famous and has a high reputation in China for offering superior abilities to widen students’ horizon and precious working opportunities. Meanwhile, I met with students continuing their work, to reach their dreams in Europe and Africa, after graduating from ESTP, which excited me a lot. Though I understand the volume of competition would be extremely high, I would still endeavour myself to take this chance. Every year there are at least one or two students from my university coming to ESTP. After their studies, they work in Europe or Africa, applying the knowledge they acquired at ESTP.
In general, there are three aspects which appeal me at ESTP and that I admire most: . The first is Its digital collaboration with companies. This will give us more opportunities to understand and learn experience on the flow of big and real projects, which is not something that could be taught on books. It also allows us to get in touch with new cutting-edge technologies through these large projects and companies.
The second is the spirit of innovation. ESTP students are trained to face challenges and so-called "impossible" things. We are always encouraged to look for different solutions for the issues.
Last is the passion of engineering. Students are proud of their profession and their titles of engineers and abilities they’ve gained through the program. I could even imagine myself dedicating weekends to school projects. At least every Saturday, because there is always a Saturday morning class for 2nd year students in the Building section.
When were you first interested in new technologies and BIM?
In 2016, as part of an architectural project at ESTP, I chose La Philharmonie de Paris as my case study. After finishing this research and analysing this architecture, I found out that the management of this project is particularly interesting and important. When it comes to architecture with complex structures and irregular shapes, the classic construction process leads to serious problems: It is always possible to dangerously exceed the budget, and project management can become too complicated and less efficient. BIM allows us to reduce these risks and unpredictability. Construction is such a complex system, the structure of a building is only a part of it.
Personally, I think that BIM is the best solution for having disciplines collaborating between in the construction process, such as architecture, structure, MEP etc. Thanks to simulations of the construction process beforehand, we can control the budget and the management much better, and minimize options and problems in the execution phase. That's where my biggest interest for BIM comes from.
Are you passionate about new technologies?
Yes, definitely! I believe that all engineers are more or less aware of new technologies and curious about new products. Since engineering is based on science, we must always be in contact with new techniques and technologies to improve the way we work.
For example, when I first discovered Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), I immediately saw its potential applications: they could allow us to travel around the world in our bed, attend an immersive experiment, it could bring us extraordinary experiences like extreme sports. But indeed, 71.3% of these technologies have been applied in the entertainment field like video games industry. As an engineer, every time I discover a new technology, I always ask myself the question of how can I adopt it in my work.
Recently, I designed a Webapp called Y.BIM Viewer. Thanks to it, you can easily navigate in all directions in a building. This application therefore could potentially be integrated into an VR device. You can visit the Webapp here http://yousheng.fr/Y_BIM/index.html. (the Y.BIM Viewer could take up to three minutes to open. The view manipulation is possible with the four arrow keys of the keyboard then the buttons of the mouse).
Now I am intern at VINCI Construction France, under the supervision of Mr Philippe BRAYARD (BIM Digital Innovation Departent Manager), and we are going to discover the applications of AR and VR in the field of building. We always have a great interest in developing and exploring these new technologies and techniques and try to integrate them into the building trades.
You also develop in programming language, don’t you? And you seem to know Dynamo for Revit. Could you tell us a bit more?
Yes. Actually I have been attracted to programming since I was young. And after graduating from Wuhan University, I have worked in a software company for a year, and this is where I have acquired the basis of programming. I am aware that we are losing a lot of time in the trifles of work and repetitive tasks. Programming is therefore a smart tool for simplifying and automating tasks. Furthermore, I'm "lazy" for those repetitive work…
For example, I developed with a friend of mine a Webapp for energy analysis of different rooms in summer timeframe. Depending on the surface difference of each room and the characteristics of glass surfaces, the results are different. To avoid wasting time calculating all the parts every time, we decided to create a tool to solve all these kind of problems. Visit the YOLO Energy Webapp with the link below. http://yousheng.fr/YOLO_Énergie/
I have been using Revit since 2014. At the time, Revit had 3 different separate versions for architecture, structure and MEP. I thought this software was a tool for project modeling and representation. Until I discovered Dynamo for Revit in 2016, I realized that it could allow me to develop also plug-ins for visualization and programming modulation. For engineers, Dynamo has greatly simplified and decreased difficulty and complexity of programming. For developers, it reduces the time spent on the development process, and so it adapts alertly to various requests and functions. When I work on a project, instead of working directly on it, I usually prefer to create a function / tool with Dynamo to lower the cost over time.
How is BIM taught at ESTP? Do you have many hours?
First of all, at ESTP, we have a 2-months BIM option to discover BIM software. All 2nd year students have a 9-hours course to discover. In the Design option at the new ESTP campus in Troyes, we have a BIM course with Mr. Julien Corvest, who is BIM manager at 3IA. During his sessions, he introduces many real projects examples to us in this field.
The school offers us a good opportunity and basis in this domain, but frankly, we must move forward with our passion, our efforts and our time, if we want to perform. Practice is the most effective way to learn a new tool better. Help Documents, Autodesk Forums or Google, those are the three tools I would recommend to move forward.
Do you think that BIM will be important when you work?
Sure, as in recent years, BIM has expanded widely. According to my perceptions, there have been significant changes. At the very beginning, I thought that the goal of BIM was the M (Modeling), not only for the architectural model, but also for the structural and MEP models. At that time, I conceded BIM was only a way of representation only serving to transfer 2D plans to 3D models.
As a result of my studies, I realized that the gap between the different trades in the construction field can not be neglected. The goal of BIM, for me, has become the B (Building). This objective is to synthesize the resources, to cooperate between the trades, thus simplifying the workflows. In addition, the IFC format allows us to exchange between different software or platforms.
Now my knowledge of BIM concept has changed again. Personally, what counts more in the BIM is the I (Information). The intrinsic purpose of BIM is to promote information exchange. We share the data, everyone can access and use it, and at the same time, everyone completes the data in different ways. This table below shows my big picture on the future of BIM with the three phases of the project.
Are you an exception or are all young people interested in new technologies?
I think I'm not the only one fascinated by new technologies. Our society is constantly evolving in the flow of technical and technological developments, we are obliged to consider these novelties. The emergence of new technologies gives us a clue to see the future of our own business. I think that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will bring an evolution in our daily life as well as the engineering world.
Have you ever done internships in a company where you had the opportunity to practice BIM?
Yes, I did a summer internship at Crealab Paris, an architecture agency specializing in architecture and interior design in 2017. She had many castles renovation projects. And iIts founder, Ms. Elodie Pacaud, was always looking for new technologies, and was very open minded with an international ambition. All its projects are located in France as well as internationally (England, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Morocco, China). To better develop with consulting firms and companies and simplify the workflow of employees, this practice seeks to explore working with BIM.
On this occasion, I have researched and tested models of architectural digital models and interior designs using Revit with Mr. Xu. These works are aiming to better visualize and to show concepts and details of projects. While doing these projects, Dynamo serves me a lot in parametric design and modeling.
Refurbishing concept (designed with Revit)
Interior architecture – Ground view
Social dwelling (designed with Revit & Dynamo)
Modular concept (designed with Revit & 3ds Max)
(If you want more information, you can find the details of each project on my personal website. http://yousheng.fr/ )
How do you see your future engineering job? What would be ideal?
In my opinion, the future of the engineering profession will be a convergence of several trades. Mastering a single profession or discipline is not enough to accomplish our professional missions because of the complexity of huge projects. Industrialization and robotization are born at the time of expansion of these issues. To develop robotization, we must have the advantage of IT. Thanks to my knowledge in the field of Building and IT, I chose to be a developer in the field of BIM to facilitate and simplify the tasks of other engineers. Similarly, the digital and energy transition is an essential part of Industry 4.0. I have already found my enthusiasm, my energy and I am looking forward to face those major issues of energy and digital transition in the building sector.
Yousheng, congratulations for your brilliant start of career and your passion for your future profession, as well as new digital technologies. We wish you a very long and brilliant carreer.