Autodesk University 2020 Recap

Read on to hear from our team and Pinnacle Series customers on their biggest takeaways from the event, and to catch up on some of the highlights from our virtual expo booth.

How did Autodesk University meet the challenges of pivoting to a virtual event?

“AU 2019 was my first opportunity to experience this much talked about event. It’s hard to wrap your brain around trying to re-create that same exact experience in the Pandemic Age. Did I miss the music made by a live marching band and Star Wars-themed laser beam light show? Sure. Do I miss being able to see people face to face? Absolutely. The crux of the matter is that we as an industry rise up. Autodesk provided the platform to do just that. Helping people to power on, to still meet virtually, learn new things and connect over what we love the most. That’s because so many of us believe in a brighter future and will find ways to stay in tune with one another – despite any obstacles thrown at us. The AU 2020 Digital Show was well-formatted and I think it accomplished what it set out to do – and that is ‘Reimagine Possible.’”

  • Bianca Holtier Coury, Construction Technology Manager, Eagle Point Software


“I’m impressed by how well organized the event was and I enjoyed the option to join the Friendsgiving social event. The roundtables were some of my favorite sessions because they allowed the opportunity to hear opinions from multiple people on a specific topic. It was the closest option to experiencing AU in person.”

  • Danielle Civitillo, Corporate Design Technology Specialist, VHB Boston (Pinnacle Series customer since 2014)


“I thought Autodesk did a great job pivoting to a virtual event. We’re living in impossible times and it was nice to see everyone come together and make the most of it. Also, one of my favorite activities is the AU5k and it went virtual too! It was fun to see everyone out there and running, biking, and swimming around the world!”

  • Tiffany Willard, Global Business Development Specialist, Eagle Point Software


“I am pleasantly surprised how good of a virtual platform Autodesk provided. It was great participating in meetups, QA, answer bar and other live sessions with other 


  • Tadeh Hakopian, Design Technology Manager/Developer, HMC Architects (Pinnacle Series customer since 2020)

What was the most exciting takeaway for the industry from this year’s AU keynotes?

“I’m most excited for Spacemaker. From what I can tell, this could be a game changer with regards to designing cities in a sustainable way. My talk this year challenged folks in our industry to figure out how dismantle systemic racism through our work. With Spacemaker and the increase in automated tasks, we can now assess different options and a wider range of variables faster than if we had to do each analysis manually. If we make it a priority to evaluate all of the relevant variables with regards to environmental and socioeconomic sustainability, Spacemaker could help us right the wrongs of our industry and dismantle, rather than contribute to, systemic racism.”

  • Danielle Civitillo, Corporate Design Technology Specialist, VHB Boston (Pinnacle Series customer since 2014)


“Andrew Anagnost, President and CEO of Autodesk, said ‘Construction will be permanently digitized.’ This could not be more true! The emphasis on remote collaboration to connect workflows across project teams is also paramount.”

  • Bianca Holtier Coury, Construction Technology Manager, Eagle Point Software


“Autodesk is scaling up design to the urban level with acquisitions like Spacemaker and expansions of their existing tools for larger scale design.”

  • Tadeh Hakopian, Design Technology Manager/Developer, HMC Architects. Pinnacle Series customer since 2020.


“As always, the General Keynote was exciting and motivational.  Learning how Autodesk products have been integral to address today’s Pandemic challenge is very inspiring.  Autodesk’s aggressive integration of generative design is saving so much time and making tasks far easier.  The acquisition of SpaceMaker, inclusion of generative design tools in Revit, and Grading Optimization in Civil 3D are significant advancements to the Autodesk tools, and an encouraging sign for future development.”

  • Don Quinn, Civil Technology Manager, Eagle Point Software

What’s the biggest Autodesk buzz people should be aware of?

“All the connected technology efforts expanded upon: Autodesk Construction Cloud, BIM 360, Forge and web-based tools. There are so many new ways to connect your services so that it is easier to leverage them together instead of disparate tools.”

  • Tadeh Hakopian, Design Technology Manager/Developer, HMC Architects. Pinnacle Series customer since 2020.


“Automation. Between Spacemaker, Dynamo, and Groundforce, the three I’m most excited about for civil engineering, it’s clear that automation is the focus and is the next big change in our technology.”

  • Danielle Civitillo, Corporate Design Technology Specialist, VHB Boston. Pinnacle Series customer since 2014.

If you’re interested in improving technology adoption…

Pinnacle Series Customer Success Manager Tara Verdia hosted a live session sharing technology adoption strategies to drive digital transformation and operational efficiency. Tara covered the importance and value of training to digital transformation, common challenges organizations face, and achieving buy-in to tech adoption initiatives.

“In order to achieve that digital transformation, we really need to be willing to explore new ways of doing things,” Verdia told attendees. “We need to be willing to embrace change and we need to also be visionary in what we’re doing every day with our processes and how we’re leveraging technology.”

Watch the full Technology Adoption Strategies to Drive Digital Transformation session below.

If you’re looking for strategies for tech adoption…

Tara Verdia also hosted a recorded session with current Pinnacle Series customers on how they approached technology adoption and handled the common challenges that come with it.

Verdia was joined by Andy Schrader, Senior Associate/National BIM Director for WSP USA Building Systems, and Greg Grana Core Technologies Services & Support Manager for HNTB Corporation.

Watch the full Technology Adoption: Two Distinct Strategies for Success session below.

If you’re looking for help with your organization’s digital transformation…

Pinnacle Series Content Development Team Lead Michael Ivanov, PhD, hosted a live session that gives an overview of what digital transformation, as well as common barriers and how an e-learning platform can help organizations achieve meaningful digital change.

“[Digital transformation] doesn’t happen haphazardly, it has to happen in a very staged and strategic progression,” Ivanov told attendees. “After COVID that’s only going to be accelerating, and we need to be more resilient in how we look at our digital transformations.”

Watch the full How e-Learning Impacts Digital Transformation session below.

Looking for more tech adoption and digital transformation help?

Our team has nearly 40 decades of experience helping AEC organizations adapt to new technologies and work more efficiently. If your team could use a boost in technology adoption, working more productively, and collaborating while working remotely, we have the solutions for you.

Not a current Pinnacle Series customer? Contact our team today or schedule a demo to learn more about Pinnacle Series and how it can transform your organization’s learning and production!


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