The vocational outcome to integrate the design workflow

Dr Vinay Domal, Lecturer Civil Structural
Applied Engineering, Munster Campus WA.

Explore, ascertain, recognize, and revive

The role of construction modelers and/or checkers has significantly changed over the period, which requires not only a high level of attention to technical detail but also a strong aspiration to achieve functional excellence meeting the project deadlines, budgets, safety, etc. Despite the best intentions of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector to enhance graduates’ employability, the limitations are inherent within the TAFE/Industry collaborations will consistently produce mixed graduates’ outcomes. The challenge is, how do we support trainees in improving the employability skills which subjected to constant change. We propose a simple framework that might involve TAFE lectures and Industry experts in the design and delivery of VET qualifications in engineering and technology.  This framework developed from a review and synthesis of participant observations and in-depth interviews conducted by me over three months in the Year 2018 with leading construction modeling, detailing, and digital engineering companies in Perth, WA.


Explore: To start with, understand their roles and observe what they do in a typical hour or day. Get some insights into their daily routine and why it is challenging to create an engineering drawing, which is the principal means of communicating design intent. Whether it is a sketch, concept design, or a construction document, each item is detailed independently, and substantial checking is required to ensure that elements fit together. There are many potential sources for errors in a project in developing integrated workflow. It is impossible to control all of them, and how do they manage them to meet internal and external stakeholders’ expectations?


Ascertain: The second part would be to establish that there is a broad understanding of what qualities, characteristics, skills, and knowledge constitute employability of construction modelers and/or checkers in general and for graduates in particular. Employers expect graduates to have the technical and discipline competencies from their VET qualifications but require graduates to demonstrate a range of broader skills and attributes that include a good understanding of engineering drawing principles, standards, and codes; a good knowledge of manufacturing process and methods including various types of machining, steel fabrication, connections,  welding metal casting and moldings; a good understanding of real-world inspection and testing methodologies and their associated limitations and advantages in the field; capacity to use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) design tools to create intelligent 2D and 3D models; ability to apply the above knowledge in the appropriate manner to reduce part cost, reduce scrappage and increase life expectancy through the practical application of technical parameters of corrosion and fire protection, thermal and acoustic insulation; and sound documentation/communication capabilities and thus experience with Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint for example.


Recognize: These findings will enable Registered Training Organizations (RTOs) to produce national accredit training products in structural drafting and detailing, including high-quality learning content and assessments consistent with the Standards for RTOs 2015 and Training Packages. Based on Australian standards and manuals for technical drawing, this course must cover everything from basic shapes, forms, and raw materials, to project functional organizational structure, connections, welds, basic detailing conventions, general drawing presentation, and bills of materials.  Creating awareness in physical and chemical laws and principles, as well as mathematics, must give an inside glimpse of the various areas of specialization, and a straightforward look at what it takes to succeed and collaborate in construction projects.  Teaching students essential of CAD tools must enable them to create and edit a simple drawing and continue to develop the custom workspaces to expand its usefulness to the community of designers. Select and design quality assessment methods, including direct observation of work in progress, portfolio of evidence or technical drawings, third-party reports that confirm candidate performance, written and/or oral questioning, and reasoning to assess against the unit/s of competency and the associated learning outcomes. The assessment tasks would require the individual design coordinator to interact with the stakeholders on identified construction project milestones and subsequent design issue notices in 3D model. This learning and assessment strategy is necessary to empower simulated multidisciplinary design teams to create, share, and coordinate large amounts of design information, while maintaining the integrity of the design team’s knowledge and decision-making as the project evolves.


Revive: This final part based on continuous monitoring and evaluation, consultation, and validation to ensure that the qualification remains relevant and reflects the current work practices and job outcomes for construction modelers and/or checkers. I am confident that this framework will be successful in this respect, and the trainees will find the newly design delivery tools to be a more intuitive, industry-oriented, and meaningful experience. Increasing the delivery modes flexibility aimed at individual clients with increased choice in what they want to learn, when they want to learn it, where they want to learn it, and how they want to learn it is worth examining more closely.

Member Profile – Joe Biggs

The member profile for our 2020 Autumn Edition of the Eye for Detail features Joe Biggs, the owner of Queensland-based firm, JBD Steel Detailing.
Joe is on the board of the ACMA and was previously, a long-standing member of the AISD Queensland, including many years on the Management Committee.

What’s your detailing story pre-JBD days?

I started my drafting career with a civil/structural engineering firm straight out of school, my first days were filled with ammonia plan printing down the hall, and then progressed to drafting, all on the drawing board back then. It was a few years later when the firm designed the Cloncurry Cultural centre in Western Qld. It had curved rooves and the fabricator asked my boss to do the shop drawings, he said “Yes, no worries, I’ll get the young fella onto it” In hindsight, I doubt anyone else including me had ever seen, let alone done any shop drawings as there was absolutely no instruction or direction. The entire set of shop drawings were born from 100’s of pages of calculations (the roof was made up of unparallel, diagonally laced, curved trusses). Upon completion of the fabrication the steel was transported to site from Toowoomba and the erection commenced. I recall coming to work one morning and my boss greeting me with “we have a problem, the riggers are saying nothing is fitting together and they need to know why, they’re waiting for your call!” In mild panic I returned to the 100’s of pages of calculations to see what I could see – TBH not much, just numbers LOL but I could not see any glaring errors. It was later revealed that the steel was laid out on the ground, the temperature was in the 40’s and the truss geometry altered enough due to the heat that the bolt holes where more than a diameter out and the angle on the end of the truss was well past plumb. A retry early the next morning had everything fitting together perfectly and calm was restored to my cadet life 😊
You never quite get used to calls like that and the wondering if you missed one tiny detail.

Is there anything about the early days in your career that you miss now?

Certainly don’t miss drawing boards, clogged 0.15 ink pens and keeping thousands of calculations in your head, but I do miss the much better design drawings that went through the hands of a chief draftsman who “rationalised” the design and liberally applied the “kiss” theory. The cost saving of simplicity far outweighs the small extra tonnage of steel required.

What’s the history of JBD?

JBD started its journey as a building design business as requests from friends for house designs mounted up, this was all, umm ahh, “after hours work”. I was then asked to detail this new construction method “Tilt Panels” 😊 that was gaining momentum in the late 1990’s. JBD transferred to full time detailing soon after and along with the tilt panels came the structural steel. Twenty-three years later – 30 guys and gals later – half a dozen office upgrades later – and here we are, detailing projects across the country and around the world.

Has there been a defining project or period for JBD?

The defining period for JBD was jumping straight on 3D detailing from the very beginning, and then more recently 3D laser scanning.
A defining project is a little harder to choose, on reflection there is a fantastic list – However, the Malaysian Pavilion at World Expo – Milan would have to be my personal pick (so far). A world first structure, an international design team from (4) countries, addressing meetings with the Malaysian government and devising the entire detailing and build methodology from nothing with a very real deadline. A success personally and for the JBD team.

What are the most satisfying aspects of your work?

Seeing difficult projects coming into the office and straight forward, complete and “correct” projects leaving the office. But most definitely the most satisfaction is when we’re seen, valued and thanked for what we brought to the project.

What was the primary motivation for joining the ACMA? or maybe, What do you see as the biggest benefit of ACMA membership?
Having not come up through a detailing office, joining the ACMA and meeting other detailers was great. They were/still are very willing to share knowledge and together we all advance the industry and steer its direction. Detailing can be a very isolating profession, the contact with ACMA members has always been a great boost.

What do you see as the main challenges facing our industry?

Detailing has always had a value proposition issue. Being outgoing about what we do and the value we add to the project team is not our natural inclination, we are much more comfortable being behind the scene doing what we do well. We bring 100 times our worth to any project but being paid for that value is more difficult. This makes it a challenge to attract new people into the industry long term.
Detailing is a pretty simple game, there are very few of us in the industry, so the industry dive to the bottom on price is always mystifying and does not help the overall effectiveness of what we contribute to projects. We need to start thinking of detailing as a profession and less about seeing ourselves as a service. We need to see the years of learning we do, the hours we put in and the risk we take on. Value yourselves folks!

What software package does JBD use and what were the deciding factors that prompted your choice?

Ah – that’s a very good question. From the beginning we ran Strucad and had (16) licences at the end, we still use it today and it’s still very competitive even though it was “put out to pasture” quite a few years ago. In more recent years we have added Tekla to our fold, although it is regarded as the industry standard, I’m a firm believer that it’s the driver not the vehicle that makes for a good product and fabrication experience. We chose Strucad originally for its ease to learn, we then put the time into training the cadets to be good technical detailers, who know what they are doing when it comes to constructing on a virtual platform. JBD has continuously trained cadets (some 22) over the 23 years, eleven of these are still here today. The ability to train detailers easily has been a lot of our success.

Was there a defining event that helped the decision to go down the 3D survey path?

Yes, there was. Right from the start of this technology we could see the benefit for JBD, the ability to turn brown field into green was too tempting. It was a sizable gamble at the time with the equipment being quite expensive, there was no one to show us the way and at the time we had to run the data through (6-8) programs to get it usable for detailing. The defining event that made it all worthwhile came virtually the day we decided that we had tested enough and had this technology figured out. That day I had a phone call with the CEO of one of our great clients (18+ years) it went something like this.

JB “Hi, I wanted to have a chat with you about this technology we have available and how it will change your world. We’ll never have to site measure and work with drawings on the back of envelopes again”

CEO “We’ve just been discussing with a client (major national retailer) why they should continue to give us their work when it always goes wrong, there’s always delays and always variations. You’re saying this could change this? “
JB “Absolutely will”
CEO “Be in our office at 10am tomorrow to show us what you have”

We missed our plane that morning, (caught the next) hadn’t prepared a presentation and certainly did not expect a room full of company heads, consultants etc. Within 10 minutes of showing them what we could do the CEO mandated that from that point, all brownfield projects would use our technology and be handled by JBD, no exceptions.

Do you think detailers are given the recognition they deserve for all the “non-detailing” work they do?
Detailers should first measure and value themselves, their skill and their work output, the industry will then do the same. Detailers need to demonstrate, define and sell the “non-detailing” (from understanding buildability to the increasing area of design finalisation) work they can do and not expect someone to “notice” the above and beyond work they do. It will take time and alignment (of detailers), common terms and language to cement “what we actually do” to forge positive industry change.

Do you have any comments regarding the value of quality Australian detailing?
Understanding the myriad of Australian Standards, Codes and buildability constraints is pretty tough to teach. It can take many years to develop these skills. Australia is possibly one of the more complex countries to detail for. In my opinion this makes our Australian grown/taught detailers more skilled on average.

“As specialists in structural steel, timber and concrete panel workshop detailing, our goal is to provide our clients with the expertise and support they need to quickly and profitably manufacture all types of steel, timber and concrete structures, both commercial and residential.” – Joe Biggs, CEO & Founder, JBD Group

Terry Bowness

Terry Bowness, business owner of Amalgamated Drafting and Steel Detailer, known by many in QLD passed away on the 2nd of September at home surrounded by close family members. The ACMA would like to extend our condolences to Pat Bowness, their children and grandchildren.

I have had discussions with Pat Bowness over the weeks after she told me of Terry’s passing and thought that it would be fitting to go meet with her and Luke (their son) to have a chat about Terry’s life, so that those of us who came to know him over the years have more of an insight into the man.

I have personally been a member of the Steel Detailing group since the days of the QISD (Queensland Institute of Steel Detailers), which later changed into the AISD (Australian Institute of Steel Detailers) and now the ACMA (Australian Construction Modellers Association). At every General meeting, every AGM, Terry was there, he was well liked, he shared our frustrations and most importantly believed in our collective vision of promoting the awareness of what we do as a profession.

Steel Detailing really is a black art. For most of us, we serve a 4-year cadetship and the rest we learn on the job and for me personally I have always learnt the most from guys with a wealth of experience like Terry. Its not the sort of profession that’s easily explained – most people just don’t understand what we do, and many consultants also struggle with the concept. We work to millimetres of accuracy; we are pedantic about the slightest of detail at work and for many of us, this flows in our daily lives. It’s a high-risk job, there are many traps to be avoided, which only years of working experience can help one traverse through, and as a result it comes with a lot of stress.

I first met Terry and Luke at Endraft, a Detailing office located in Constance Street Fortitude Valley, after I left G and D Drafting. I found Terry to be honest, to the point and didn’t abide fools. He would always tell you what he thought about a situation within the Industry, good or bad and didn’t skirt around issues with weasel words. It’s a character that’s being lost and, in my opinion, one can learn a lot from a straight shooter who doesn’t waste your time with ambiguous waffle.

Terry was born in Emerald on a Monday 18th June 1945 and was the son of Samuel John Bowness, a train driver, and Veronica May nee Rowe a loving Mum.  He was the youngest of 5 children – Frank (deceased), Shirley (deceased), Valmai and Gloria preceded him.

They grew up in Emerald and by all accounts had a wonderful time.

When they came back to Brisbane they lived in Fairfield and he attended Yeronga State School.  Polio was rife in the 50’s and Terry was an unlucky recipient of it.  He spent many months in hospital and eventually made a full recovery.

He continued his education as a pioneer student of Yeronga High and finished Junior (Yr 10, which was considered a good education in those days) in 1961 and found it hard to get a job. He contacted the local Member of Parliament who contacted the shipyard at South Brisbane and he was given an apprenticeship as a shipwright.  One of his jobs was to prepare the tea for smoko.  This involved a billy, tea (not teabags), boiling water and swinging the billy in a circle to strengthen the colour of the tea.  A dying art I would say.

Terry joined the CMF (reserves as they are now known) 2nd/14th armoured corp and loved every minute – acquiring his licences in all the armoured vehicles they had at that time.  He was a top shot too.

In 1966 Terry married the love of his life Patricia Ann Maguire and they were privileged to have 6 children Michael, Rhee, Leisa, Anthony, Emma and Luke who in turn gave them 11 grandchildren with another to arrive in November, a little girl.  The kids and his grandkids have been his pride and joy and he was always interested in anything they were up to in life.

When they first married Terry worked 3 jobs, his drafting job of a day, drink-water at the Aussie Nash of an evening and mowing lawns or painting roofs of a weekend.  Pat stayed home with the kids and they lived with their grandmother, in order to save up for a home for the family.  In 1970 with 3 kids they packed up and moved to Perth looking for a bit of luck with the WA boom years.  In 1972 they moved back to Brisbane and bought the family home in Woodville Place, Annerley where they still live today.

When a position became available at the Rocklea drawing office in 1962, he was transferred there.  He met Gregory William Josey and they became firm friends, Terry being his best man and Greg and wife Rita becoming god parents Terry and Pat’s second child.  Terry worked there until 1970 and then travelled to Perth where the family stayed for 2 years.

Upon return to Brisbane he worked for BDS for many years, and several other companies and when Endraft folded he and a few others set up their own company – Amalgamated Drafting.

There was a “poker group” and they played every couple of months Myles Murray, Ross Currin, Greg Josey, Jimmy and Ben Geisse – the backbone of the old-style draftsmen.  They played for years until Ben passed unexpectantly at an early age (RIP Ben) and then Greg passed (RIP Gregie) Losing these two took its toll on the group and they stopped playing.

Terry was always involved with the community – wherever the kids went, he was there.  President of Yeronga Park Kindy, St Sebastians Primary School, St James College and Mt Gravatt Soccer Club.  He worked with Fr Conroy and Joe Layden to put in place many ideas Fr Conroy had to improve the school and church.

He loved his golf and did not get to play much here because of work and family commitments but when he and Pat went away, they liked to stay on Bintan at a golf resort where Terry would play golf every day.  Everyone on the resort loved him and kept in touch with him all year until they went again.  He liked to go to Bangkok and visit his nephew who is also his godson and hear all about his golf interests.

Horses were another passion and many years ago he bought a very small share in one.

Terry was interested in all the extended family and tried never to miss any family event even though most live on the Gold Coast.  He has been very close to all his nieces and nephews over the years as they in turn have been to him calling him The God Father.

18 years ago, he had his first big operation and since has had 14 operations in all.  Pat says whoever would have thought after all he had been through that he would suffer cancer.

Terry was committed to family and the Steel Detailing industry he worked in. He is one of many Steel Detailers responsible for structures being built around the country which otherwise could not be achieved without the skill and knowledge which is part of the Steel Detailer’s tool kit.

For those of us who worked with Terry and knew him through ACMA meetings, we are saddened by his loss and he won’t be forgotten. His presence and commitment to our industry will be missed.

Rest in Peace Terry.


Prepared by –

Philip Shanks.

Project showcase

Project 1. Wynyard Walk Canopy

This project is a creative steel Structure canopy in the heart of Sydney city.

All the structure seel elements are exposed. Connection detail was designed to be invisible. The perimeter ring beam was made from fabricated boxed plates Curved in two directions.

A specially fabricated secondary structure was designed and fabricated to enable the assembly.

Project 2. Glendale Interchange sculpture

This project is made of three large elliptical rings which intersect together. Each ring is made of an ellipse, 12 meters in the minor axis and 18 metres in the major axis. The cross section is made of 610CHS*12.7.

The sculpture symbolises the dynamic hub that is emerging at Glendale, bringing together employment, community and transport assets.

2019 Australian Steel Convention – Westin Hotel, Sydney


National Forum – Steel  Modellers & Detailers

National Forum highlights

PRESENT: Chris Anderson – Revision – Zero
Brad Backer – BDS Vircon
Shaun Brown – Haywards
Steve Cox – Demcox
David Dawson – PDC
Rick Dembiany – Demcox
John Gardner – ASI (Minutes Secretary)
Peter Lawrence – van der Meer Consulting
John Lyons – PDC
Jason Nankivell – PDC
Russell Neal – Revision – Zero
Scott Peeler – Building Point
Tim Rachow – BDS Vircon
Clayton Roxborough – Steelcad
Phil Shanks – Steelcad
Dardo Uteda – Steelforce
Chris Velovski – EDC Consultants


  1. Introduction and welcome
    • Clayton Roxborough (ACMA Chair), welcomed the delegates and reviewed key achievements and activities of the AISD in Queensland prior to the formation of ACMA. These included member tours of steel industry facilities such as galvanizers, Webforge, Monowills, construction sites etc, providing assistance to the Galvanizers Association of Australia (GAA) to produce venting & draining wall charts, steel detailer qualification framework and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) Awards.


  1. Agenda Discussion Topics
    • AISD National Amalgamation
      • The AISD has been dissolved and ACMA has been formed as a not for profit company limited by guarantee. ACMA a corporation and has a Board of Directors.
      • It was agreed that the ACMA AGM will be held at future ASI Steel Conventions.
      • It is planned that the new ACMA website will allow ACMA members to share information online.
      • Membership certificates will be provided to all ACMA financial members.
    • Review of Steel Detailers Handbook
      • ACMA Secretary, Phil Shanks has been leading the revision of the Australian Steel Detailers Handbook and work is progressing well. He advised that information on cold-formed steel sections including purlins and girts will need to be included in the new edition of the Handbook. The ASI and ACMA logos will be included on the drawings provided as part of the Handbook.   It was agreed that ASI would produce the final table of contents for the Handbook.   The revision of the Handbook is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019.
    • Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)
      • BIM in New Zealand (BIMinNZ) at is also active in promoting early engagement by the project supply chain.
      • ACMA “IPD rules of engagement “are needed to guide participants in the IPD process and set boundaries.
      • An ACMA web-based portal could be set up in order to share IPD news and activities between ACMA members.
      • Next month Phil Shanks will be presenting an IPD case study on a steel walkway project being built in the Katharine Gorge in the Northern Territory. The case study presentation will include a video showing the construction model.  It was agreed that the case study will be shared with ACMA members.
    • IPD Awards – State and National
      • To assist in holding the ACMA IPD Awards in all states, it was agreed that the Queensland IPD Awards framework should be shared with all States for eventual national roll-out.
    • Industry News

      • Chris Velovski (AISD NSW) reported that government funding is available to assist Construction Modellers to undertake projects that benefit their business and the wider ACMA community. AusIndustry is a major provider of dollar for dollar grants for small business.  Chris advised that his company, EDC Consultants, has applied for 2 grants, one of which will support a Masters in Construction degree student at the University of Newcastle to carry out research into the benefits of early project engagement with Construction Modellers.  Chris agreed to share the grant application information with ACMA members.
    • Networking Business Opportunities that come with membership
      • The formation of ACMA provides an excellent opportunity to expand the membership of ACMA to a wider range of individuals and companies involved the construction supply chain. Engineers interested in BIM and IPD would be suitable ACMA members as well as Construction Modellers working in the precast concrete sector.
    • Engagement with the Australian Steel Institute (ASI)

      • Agreed that engagement with the ASI in all states would benefit the association.
  1. Other Business
    • A new 3D model of a 12 storey steel framed building is being prepared by ACMA member company, Steelcad, for use by the ASI in the course materials for the updated, Queensland University of Technology 4th Year Engineering Degree in design of a multi-storey composite steel framed building.
    • Software piracy continues to be a serious issue even though compliance has increased by software providers. One of the challenges is addressing the problem of some companies using pirated software being “off grid” and not connected to the internet.  Modelling of some projects can begin overseas by companies using pirated software and then be completed in Australia by companies using licensed software.   The names and locations of those companies caught using pirated software needs to be shared with ACMA members so that they can avoid forming a business relationship with them.

Find your next project online

Do you want to get better at attracting new customers and keep existing ones coming back for more? Of course you do. In the digital era, door knocking and cold calling is dead. ‘Social selling’ is increasingly where it’s at in the business-to-business market-place.

The term refers to the use of social media platforms to identify and connect with business prospects by sharing content, interacting online and building a relationship until they’re ready to engage your services.

It’s a subtle approach and can be a long game – the polar opposite of the old hard sell where potential customers are subjected to constant pressure until an on-the-spot purchase is made. Think on how many emails you receive from over-seas detailers touting for work.

From electronic business card to powerful tool

For many small businesses and business owners, their professional presence online remains sporadic – the seldom-updated profile or company blog that was forgotten after the initial enthusiasm ran out of puff.

While that may have sufficed when social media platforms like LinkedIn were in their infancy, the last 10 years have seen exponential expansion in online, commercial relationships and so have the ways businesses engage with their audience.

Today, social media is a dynamic global forum where people share ideas and information, foster business relationships and market their product offerings.

If you’re a business owner, exploiting it to the full involves using social media as more than just an electronic CV for yourself or an online brochure for your company.

Serious about social selling

Successful social selling takes time and concerted effort – ideally every day, not on an ad hoc basis when all the other tasks on your ‘To Do list’ are done.

Getting your personal and business profile in order with quality photos or images and a few succinct paragraphs about yourself, and populating your company page with relevant content – case studies, white papers, blogs, vlogs and articles about your industry – are the first steps.

Keep it clean and make it professional. Remember, Linked-in is not Facebook.

After that, it’s about systematically boosting your brand by connecting with and following customers and potential customers, ‘liking’ or ‘commenting’ on their posts and sharing interesting content, accompanied by your own commentary.

It shouldn’t be all about the boss, either. Historically, many businesses have been wary about allowing their employees to let loose on social platforms, but encouraging your people to share company content with their own networks can amplify your reach exponentially.

Increasing your sales pipeline is the ultimate goal. By understanding the needs and wants of your customers and engaging regularly with the decision-makers who’ll one day be in the market for your product offerings is an excellent place to start.

Many businesses in engineering and construction have the process down pat, while others are only just beginning to explore the possibilities.

Quality will always outweigh quantity on social media, no matter what network you are using. Whilst some businesses may approach Twitter of Facebook and constantly share, share and over share. LinkedIn is a professional network, and whilst building a network is important, adding people you do not know isn’t worth your time

Are you looking to start or get more involved in LinkedIn for Business? Below is a list of 20 Do’s and Dont’s of LinkedIn Etiquette. In general, the golden rule of LinkedIn etiquette and social media marketing is to always provide undeniable value that speaks to the exact type of person with whom you are trying to connect with. You don’t want to write just for the sake of writing; you want to entice your audience to keep coming back for more helpful information.


  1. Personalize connection requests. Tell them your reason for connecting.
  2. Have a profile picture so people can see whom they are connecting with.
  3. Personalize your recommendation requests and offer to reciprocate (if appropriate).
  4. Keep it professional and only share information relevant to business.
  5. Turn off notifications when updating your profile.
  6. Send a nice welcome message that provides value.
  7. Regularly nurture relationships. Building relationships is not a numbers game!
  8. Make your contact list open to your connections.
  9. Offer to introduce your connections to others in your network.
  10. Respond promptly to messages (1-2 days).


  1. Don’t send spam messages to your connections. Slow down the sale to speed it up.
  2. Don’t over post—once a day is good.
  3. Don’t ask people you don’t know for LinkedIn recommendations.
  4. Don’t criticize or comment negatively on posts in groups.
  5. Do not post self-serving content in groups that holds no value to members.
  6. Don’t send messages to multiple people without unchecking the option “Allow recipients to see each other’s names and email addresses.”
  7. Don’t ask people to like your Facebook. Instead push them to the valuable information you have to offer on Facebook.
  8. Don’t ask new connections or people you don’t know to endorse you.
  9. Don’t send messages starting with, “I see you viewed my profile…” It is not professional
  10. Don’t treat LinkedIn like Facebook or Twitter – it is more professional.


*Courtesy of


The time is now

Do you think of yourself as an analogue kind of person and wondering whether avoiding the social selling scene is an option? You’ll do your business and your professional profile no favours if you don’t start rubbing shoulders with prospects in cyberspace – and soon.

This is how potential customers can find you and research whether or not you’re a business they want to engage with. Not having an active presence could leave you at the bottom of the pack, in 2020 and beyond.



Event cancellations due to COVID-19

Annual Steel Convention

Due to the unprecedented circumstances arising from the COVID-19 virus and after careful consideration the Australian Steel Institute has decided to cancel the 2020 Annual Steel Convention for September 2020. The ASI understands the importance of the Annual Steel Convention for their members and the steel construction industry at large but due to the prevailing uncertainty, the financial impact of a late cancellation and keeping the health and welfare of our community in mind we have had to make this call now.

Furthermore, given the financial and social impact that the COVID-19 is having on the economy it was felt that the Annual Steel Convention would be seen by organisations as non-essential expenditure and that in difficult business conditions would not be well supported.

Going forward for 2020, in lieu of the Convention, the ASI is exploring the possibility of running some ‘on line’ sessions and presentations, that may be delivered to you in a variety of different formats.

The ACMA Annual General Meeting is usually scheduled to be conducted during the Convention. Now that the Convention has been cancelled, the board of the ACMA will advise members in due course of the new arrangements for this years AGM.


Steel Excellence Awards

The ASI will proceed with the Steel Excellence Awards for 2020 with the following revisions to the State based awards:

The Call for Entries has already been distributed in all States. The Gala Dinner and Presentation events at venues for state-based awards have all been cancelled, however the Awards will continue to the judging stage with Winners & High Commendations recognised in the Steel Australia Magazine, Media Releases and possible individual presentations to Winning companies.

State Winners will progress to the National Awards which is still under review as to if an ‘event’ will be conducted or not in November. We will advise in due course if the national event and dinner will proceed.

Given the cancellation of the awards events, the ACMA has decided not to run the IPD award this year. It was in planning for the IPD award to go National this year however, we’ll postpone this move until the 2022 round of Steel Industry Awards.



DBM Vircon: Introducing a Fully Integrated BDS Vircon and PDC

Whilst there has been numerous technological advances over the past few decades, there have also been some significant changes to the businesses operating within the Australian construction modelling industry.

In late 2016, a significant announcement was made when DBM Global, a construction company based in Phoenix, Arizona acquired two of the top modelling and detailing brands in the industry, BDS Vircon and PDC.  Both BDS and PDC were Australian companies and had provided years of successful project delivery across Australian and internationally.  At the time of this transaction, many wondered whether this change would result in a loss of two lead organisations and their contribution to use of technology, innovative approaches and delivery methods to the Australian market. By stark contrast, these brands have been brought together under DBM Vircon to fully leverage both companies systems into a seamless and comprehensive solution.  With the combination of two great delivery systems, numerous advances have been made to the delivery systems and processes used across all of DBM Vircon’s projects.

With the merge of systems and processes being finalised in the background, the team embarked on a rebranding journey to better recognise the global business that has been grown from BDS and PDC’s humble beginnings.  One of the greatest evolutions to both BDS and PDC has been the change from being shop detailing businesses to a premier construction modelling, design, detailing and digital engineering company.  With construction modelling, virtual construction and digital engineering now representing a more accurate depiction of the role and work being undertaken, the business has now been rebranded as DBM Vircon; an acronym for  Design-Build-Maintain: Virtual Construction.

Today, DBM Vircon have operations across four continents in eight countries forming one of the most comprehensive and sophisticated 3D modelling, design, detailing and digital engineering companies in the world.  Whilst DBM Vircon’s outlook has become broader and global focused, the importance of our Australian team has not diminished.  Both the Australian and global market highly values the expertise, innovation, systems and emphasis on delivering quality and providing solutions that DBM Vircon’s Australian teams are well known for.  DBM Vircon continues to focus on attracting talented new team members and supporting the transition of knowledge from experienced construction modellers to juniors and cadets.

DBM Vircon looks forward to continuing to contribute to the Australian construction modelling industry and ACMA over the coming years.  Equally, DBM Vircon remains committed to working collaboratively with its clients and delivery partners throughout Australia.


ASI Steel Excellence Awards

The Australian Steel Excellence Awards are held biennially to promote excellence in the use of Australian steel in design, recognise high standards across the Australian steel supply chain and celebrate collaboration and the achievements of the Australian steel industry.

The 2020 Australian Steel Excellence Awards provide outstanding opportunity for representatives from across the Australian steel industry to showcase their collaborations and achievements

Promoting excellence in the use of Australian steel in design.
Recognising high standards across the Australian steel supply chain.
Celebrating collaboration and the achievements of the Australian steel industry.


Five award categories
Buildings – Large Projects (over $5,000,000) for application component
Buildings – Small Projects (up to $5,000,000) for application component
Australian Steel-Clad Structures (Warehouses, Industrial Building, Façades, etc)
Engineering Projects (Infrastructure, Resources and Mining)
Young Designer/Detailer/Trades Person


Closing Date for Entries: 5pm on Friday 29 May 2020
Contact: David Varcoe 0419 136 720

Uploading your entries is simple. We encourage Builders, Engineers and Architects as well as Steel Supply Chain participants to submit entries large or small.

Just click on the link to access the Awards program which provide details such as Submission Requirements, Award Categories and Templates to make the process of entering easier.

Once you have begun the entry process, you will also be sent a link so that you can return to your entry and upload further information later if you need to. Award entry is free of charge.

State winners of the Steel Excellence Awards will be nominated for the Australian Steel Institute’s National Australian Steel Excellence Awards, presented at the 2020 Australian Steel Excellence Awards Gala Dinner in Sydney in November.  Date and venue to be confirmed

Letter to the construction and engineering sectors of NSW

The NSW State Treasurer, The Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP, has released this open letter to the construction and engineering sectors of NSW.

He outlines that the NSW Government is committed to the vital infrastructure program and gives assurance that they will continue delivery of its program.

The NSW Government announced a major $2.3billion Health Boost and Economic Stimulus package which has two key components: $700 million in extra health funding and $1.6 billion in tax cuts to support jobs.

The Treasurer states that “This package will support our formidable program of work that has been the backbone of our State’s economy for a number of years”.

Click here to view the letter