There’s a lot of talk about robots in this issue, but let’s start with the humans.
First we have Tim Wies, the winner of this year’s AWCI Pinnacle Award, our highest honor. When this award is presented during AWCI’s Convention, which was held at the end of April, it is accompanied by a short video that takes viewers through the winner’s life. It’s one of the great highlights of the convention. (You can watch these videos on our website: www.awci.org/awci/awards.)
I have known Tim for many years, but these events always teach me something new. From my perspective, Tim is passionate about his work as well as his industry involvement. He is also very smart, friendly, engaging, charismatic, generous—I could go on, but you get the idea. He’s definitely award-worthy. But what I didn’t know is that he has considered going into professional barbecuing. I love it! (And I wonder if he will consider sharing his recipe for St. Louis–style spareribs. I’ll let you know.)
You’ll learn a little more about Tim by going to page 26, and that is followed by all the other award winners that were honored during AWCI’s Convention. Enjoy the great winning projects and the winners of AWCI’s safety and innovation awards. It is important to note that all the winners are selected by members of the AWCI Industry Awards Committee and the AWCI Safety Awards Committee, both of which are made up of about a dozen contractors from across the country. In my opinion, these are among the hardest working committees we have at AWCI, and the extra time and dedication they give to selecting the winners is remarkable—and often thankless. That said, thank you.
The next article, which begins on page 40, brings us to the important topic of safety. In this feature we asked AWCI member contractors about the things that make or break a company’s safety culture. Again, our members did not disappoint, offering up valuable advice and tips for sending all your employees home alive and well at the end of the day.
Our next feature brings us to the robot. We are hearing more talk about how the machines will soon be doing the work of humans, and regardless of how many sci-fi movies I watch, I’m not sure I believe we have much to worry about. Robots can’t do much of anything without some kind of human interruption or involvement. I think it’s all good. But then I read the article that starts on page 50, and I may now be having second thoughts. I’m smiling just thinking about it, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It’s instruction you’re going to want to read.
Robots are also the subject of this month’s InSync column (page 19). In it, Mark L. Johnson addresses the use of robots in construction. Is a drywall-hanging version of C-3PO in your near future? Possibly. You’ll have to read the article to find out for sure.
And let’s not forget Vince Bailey’s discussion in Estimator’s Edge (page 18) on artificial intelligence (which has robotic undertones). It’s the second part of the article started last month, and it contains this phrase: “… the estimated net loss of jobs due to AI over the next five to 10 years is 400,000!” Intrigued? Get reading!