Looking back, pushing forward: Dr Melanie Robinson of BIM Academy

Abstract image of 2023 into 2024 - Dr Melanie Robinson BIM Academy
Image: Rochu2008/

In the third in a short series of Q&As to mark the turning of the year, BIM Academy associate and Women in BIM regional lead Dr Melanie Robinson steps into the spotlight to reveal her highlights from 2023 and her hopes and plans for 2024 – and recommends a podcast that could help your career.

What’s the best thing that happened in BIM and digital construction in 2023?

This may be a predictable answer, but it must be the emergence of AI. While I think we still have a while to go before it is considered business as usual, it is already starting to revolutionise how we are undertaking certain tasks and how we are solving problems. Structured datasets and AI technologies go hand in hand.

What are you looking forward to professionally in 2024?

Dr Melanie Robinson of BIM Academy

“We need to invest more time in peer-to-peer mentoring, as well as up-skilling in general.”

Dr Melanie Robinson

Continuing to grow our digital strategy service within the organisation and helping clients unlock the value of digital information and data. There are also some exciting plans for the business in 2024 that I am looking forward to being a part of.

What does the industry need to do more (or less of) in 2024?

We need to invest more time in peer-to-peer mentoring, as well as upskilling in general. We need to build a supportive culture that not only considers and encourages future generations to enter the industry, but also increases the retention of great talent.

Do you have any sort of festive ritual?

Not really, I’ve always spent Christmas with shift workers, so the festivities usually juggle around their schedule. Saying that, I’ve always loved doing a good jigsaw on Christmas Eve while watching a film.

Recommend a book, podcast, TV series, film or album that you enjoyed in 2023.

My professional answer would be the Squiggly Careers book and podcast. Even if you are on a pretty well-defined career ladder, these are wonderful resources for personal growth and learning more about how to use your values and interests to shape your career.

My less professional answer is a good Colleen Hoover book and, surprisingly (considering my dislike for football culture), I’ve really enjoyed the Welcome to Wrexham documentary.

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