Digital engineering is changing the way project teams and stakeholders collaborate in a shared design environment.

At this week’s AusRAIL PLUS 2017 conference in Brisbane, WSP’s Digital Engineering Lead Damien Cutcliffe shared his insights into the firm’s approach to Australia’s biggest public transport project - the Sydney Metro City and Southwest project, which is Stage 2 of Sydney Metro. WSP is in a Design Joint Venture with AECOM to fulfil the Technical Advisor role.


Speaking from the conference, Mr Cutcliffe discussed the benefits of harnessing digital technologies on this project, which was recently recognised with Consult Australia’s 2017 Award for Technological Innovation.


He said, “A combination of data aggregation, virtual and augmented reality and web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) enabled the project team and key stakeholders to engage and collaborate around design in a way we haven’t seen before.


“Together with the client and wider project participants, we worked as an integrated team using our models and GIS to support effective communication and sharing of project information. This led to more informed design decision making, which in turn delivered time and cost savings.


“The result of using digital engineering at the early stage of the design has set the benchmark for this project as it moves into the delivery phase. It also provides a precedent for us to implement this approach on future projects.”


AusRAIL PLUS, the Australasian Railway Association’s bi-annual conference and exhibition, was held on 21-23 November. With the theme of ‘Rail’s Digital Revolution’, the event attracted more than 900 attendees and 400 exhibiting organisations.