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When most people think of construction, they think of excavators, bulldozers and a lot of dirt. They don’t think about virtual reality, lasers, laptops, robots and autonomy — technology that’s more often associated with futuristic portrayals of reality than today’s infrastructure projects. 

But that’s exactly what’s driving the construction industry forward, enabling projects to be built better, faster, safer, cheaper and greener using machine control, virtual and augmented reality and remote technology. This is reflected in the job titles that spearhead major projects today — titles like virtual design and construction manager, director of construction technology and advanced technology manager. Operating construction technology and inventing ways to make it more innovative and efficient takes a different type of person than the one who can successfully operate a concrete pump or a front-end loader, as they have a vastly different understanding of how a technology ecosystem could or should work to enhance productivity.