Top 5 Takeaways from iHEEP 2018 (and why you should attend in 2019)

Image for iheep-logo-windmill-ne.png

Top 5 Takeaways from iHEEP 2018 (and why you should attend in 2019)

Written by: Keysoft Solutions

For those that don’t know, one of the best kept secrets in the world of state-DOTs is the annual iHEEP conference. This conference was born out of the Highway Engineering Exchange Program (HEEP) that dates to 1956 when a few western states decided to get together to share ideas. Involvement has since expanded to many states across the US as well as several European countries. Participation is also expanded to engineering consultants and technology vendors.

Keysoft was proud to attend and sponsor iHEEP 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska this year. The theme was “Advancing Innovation” and many of the round-tables and breakout sessions focused on the topics of:

  • Digital project delivery and e-Construction,
  • BIM/CIM learnings and best-practices, and
  • DOT partnerships with industry and technology.

Keysoft’s own Will Baron also participated in one of the kick-off general sessions by sitting on the BIM for Infrastructure panel and giving his perspective from the UK point of view. More information about this discussion can be found here.

Here are a few key takeaways and why you should petition your DOT or organization to send you to iHEEP 2019 in Asheville, North Carolina:

  • States are learning to operate like lean, private businesses. Many delegates are at the forefront of leading their organizations towards an uncertain future by embracing change all the while dealing with limited budgets and resources.
  • States that don’t participate in knowledge-sharing opportunities like iHEEP are positioning themselves (and their constituents) to lag in innovation, infrastructure, and growth of commerce.
  • States that are not afraid of disruptive change through technology will be the ahead of the curve for a long time. Leaders like Utah, Wisconsin, New York, and others are braving a new frontier, making mistakes along the way, but ultimately positioning themselves (and their constituents) to be more resilient and more attractive to commerce.
  • Other states are joining the conversation as followers and there is nothing wrong with that! At least they are starting down the path to innovation, learning from the mistakes of others, and “priming the pump” for innovation of their own.
  • Do you want a brutally honest assessment of technological trends and what works/what doesn’t work? The delegates at iHEEP will not hesitate to tell you what software worked for them, what technology lead them in the wrong direction, and what they learned from the experience.

Overall, this is a conference for DOT leaders with an appetite for innovation who, despite their limited resources and current political climate of their state, are looking to better serve their population. If you think your state DOT is stodgy and old-fashioned, think again…they may be iHEEP delegates!