Will Ikerd maintains it will take less than 10 years for building information modeling to transform structural engineering. He’s helping that happen as co-chair of the BIM committee, formed last year, of the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) and the Council of American Structural

Engineers (CASE). Ikerd, director of integrated project delivery for Dallas-based Raymond L. Goodson Jr. Inc., is so committed to BIM that he also chairs the information technology committee of the Structural Engineers Association of Texas.

The SEI-CASE committee and SEAoT just released a joint BIM survey, designed to get a handle on the state of BIM in structural engineering. Some 700 engineers responded from 15,000 surveyed.

Almost 33% said their firm is currently using BIM to meet its clients’ needs. Another 43% said they expect to be using BIM within five years. And 10% said they would never use BIM.

A third of respondents rated their company leaders’ interest in BIM as “very high/exceptional.” Another 22% rated interest in BIM as above average. But 19% rated leaders’ interest as low/poor.

For BIM training, 35% of respondents rated their company’s training as low/poor; only 15% rated it as exceptional. Company investment in BIM was rated very high/exceptional by only 24% of the respondents. Nearly 30% gave investment a low/poor rating.

Nearly half the respondents said their firms use self-paced training with tutorials that come with software. Nearly 46% said the firm hires outside trainers, and almost half of the respondents rated their BIM training as only moderately effective.

In most firms, analysis programs are not linked to BIMs, says Ikerd. That’s why, to date, most engineers are using BIM to mentor younger engineers by allowing them to visualize constructibility, to communicate framing issues to clients and to perform early quantity take-offs for value engineering.