In recent years, the built world has witnessed an unsurpassed amount of discussion about driving step change improvement. With some of the brightest minds in the world developing bold new solutions to age-old problems, the value of transformative thinking and decision-making has never been higher. At BuiltWorlds, we recognize how critical a role leadership plays in driving the industry beyond incremental improvements. The Mavericks is our attempt to honor those leaders, and, now more than ever, we are excited to announce our 2020 list of Maverick Awards winners! This list highlights 50 individuals who have acted as trendsetters, innovative thinkers, and catalysts of change in their respective fields. From architects and entrepreneurs to industry leaders, technologists to investors, and those developing both off-site fabrication and on-site robotics, we have identified boundary-pushers from leading companies around the world, and across the built environment's vast ecosystem. We hope you enjoy reading about them as much as we did!
Want to learn more about the Mavericks and their organizations? Just click on their company name to find them in our company directory and see all the analysis we've provided about them. Many of the Mavericks are also members of the BuiltWorlds Network and you can also find out more about them and connect with them in our Member Directory
He started a bid management software company in 2014, famously taking investments broadly, reportedly by approaching strangers in San Francisco coffee shops with his idea. Built quickly. Sold to Autodesk in 2018 for a report $275 million. His is one of the first truly fast from zero to nine figure exit in our industry.
Started the company in Isreal after a career at Intel and with exposure to her family's construciton business. Raised nearly $9 million from top shelf VC's and moved to San Francisco where she rebarnded to Versatile.ai and quickly became a leader in the industry's tech sector with a global reputation.
After bootstrapping Vela Systems from a small start up to 50,000 users, he went on to lead the industry's push into machine learning, as Founder and CEO of SmartVid. He then teamed with Suffolk to lead the formation of a new data sharing alliance to predict and prevent accidents on job sites before they happen.
From many earlier industry software gigs through to his end-to-end experience as Newforma's CEO and now to numerous other roles in the industry, he has been a leader in AEC technology for nearly three decades.
Back in 2008, she saw an opportunity to focus on helping the industry's specialty contractors with their document management needs. She noticed that, for all the attention paid to architects, engineers, and general contractors, subcontractors were a huge and overlooked segment in the industry. Now, with $20 million in funding from heavyweights like Catalyst and Revolution, she has carved out a substantial niche in the crowded project management systems space by focused on the needs of "subs."
It was another big year for the peer to peer equipment rental service he, his brother, and a handful of others founded in 2014. After raising more than $70 million, rumors began swirling late in 2019 about a major investment from Softbank along with reports that the five year old company was on track for $300 million in revenues and $150 EBITDA. A $4 billion valuation was also rumored. Wherever they end up, they deserve recognition for cutting a wide swath in a segment of the market filled with large, entrenched competitors and many upstarts players as well.
President and CEO of CanAm, one of North America's largest metal building component designers and fabricators, he also stepped out and founded the Future Leaders Group, a group of next generation industry leaders from various companies in various fields whom he brings together to learn and also to share ideas with each other about the future of the industry.
CHT & Co.
Co-chairman of Thornton Tomasetti until 2004, he has led the structural design of some of the world’s most significant and monumental structures, including two of the tallest: Taipei 101 in Taiwan and the Petronas Towers in Kaula Lumpur. He is currently Chairman of Charles H. Thornton & Company, LLC, a management and strategic consulting firm, where he continues to pioneer the Top Down Building Process, an innovative approach to mid and high rise construction.
Vice President, Administration
A third generation leader of this firm, she has led the efforts to promote technology adoption and other advances at the firm.
He was among a generation of Mavericks who took the stage almost a generation ago. Back in the mid 90s, while still at his family's construction company, he helped found Becktech. Becktech remains a leading software company for the industry, even as Peter remains Executive Chairman of Beck Group, a leading industry player.
Charles Pankow Builders
Another "pioneer" in promoting the integration of new technology and techniques, he has led California-based Charles Pankow Builders where he is currently Chairman, and he also serves as President of the Charles Pankow Foundation, an organization with a mission to be "a catalyst to advance the design and construction of buildings.
In a November 2018 interview with Fortune Magazine (https://fortune.com/2018/11/14/autodesk-ceo-andrew-anagnost/), Anagnost declared Autodesk a "design and make" software company. The company he took over serves all kinds of industries from aerospace to gaming, but asked where his focus would be in the coming years, he named construction as his place to "double down," and so he has bought up Assemble, Plangrid, BuildingConnected and made further investments in a billion dollar plus effort finally to move past the early days of buzzsaw and constructware and cement Autodesk's leadership in A and E and also C - and possibly O&M and beyond.
Director of Construction
Crate & Barrel
For more than a decade, he has been pushing the industry to work in a model-based environment. Each Crate & Barrel store was unqiue, and from concept through execution, he was an early leader in the Building Construction arena in pushing teams to adopt more robust to technology in modelling in the management of thier work and elsewhere.
David F Chambers
As Director of Architecture and Facilities at Sutter Health, he was one of the early champions of "coopetition" and lean construction, ultimately leading to the development of Integrated Project Delivery and spurring better approaches to advancement through collabortion in the industry.
President and CEO
One of the leading players in tech innovation in the Middle East. According to one report, his company built the majority of the high rises in China.
Whenever we look for innovation around the world outside of the United States, we see Royal BAM somewhere in the mix. Having just celebrated their 150th anniversary with a commitment to plant 150,000 trees around the world, this company under van Wingerden's leadership has been anything but complacent about the next 150 years.
In 2016, he launched one of the first construction equipment focused venture efforts. Continuing these efforts at HoltCat, these early efforts helped spawn a new venture as well, pulling in a leading group of equipment companies to form Ironspring, a dedicated investment fund focused on the sector.
Editor in Cheif
Engineering News Record
For almost two decades, she has led the editorial at ENR, widely considered the industry's leading news organization during that time. In her capacity, she has consistently helped spotlight efforts to drive innovation in the industry across a braod spectrum of fronts.
Dr. Bernard Amadei
Engineers Without Borders
Founder of Engineers Without Boarders USA and Co-Founder of Engineers Without Boarders International, he has fostered a global spirit of collaboration toward a better world to the professionals of the Built World.
Fred Mills is founder and MD of The B1M - the world's largest and most subscribed to video channel for construction. With over 11 million viewers each month, He rose to be one of YouTube's most popular education channels. His impact on the image of the construction industry has been profound.
Israeli Builders Association
During his term as President of the 2000 member organization, the group founded what may be the first construction tech incubator in the world - Contech - the Construction Innovation Zone. Already, the effort has launched a number of start ups with international success, including CivDrone, VNatures, and Siteaware.
State of Maharashtra
Signing on to be the first site of the Hyperloop, he demonstrated an early willingness to lead in areas others had not yet ventured.
From Rhumbix to Brick & Mortar to Building Connected, to VInci's Leonard, Professor Fisher's program at Stanford has probably produced more leaders in the construction technology sector than any other program.
With more than a decade of experience in technology in the industry, she has consistently worked to champion causes for advancing the industry. Most recently, she became director of PROCORE.ORG where she will be helping one of the industry's leading new technology companies support the broader non-profit, university, and trade world.
Lee Fook Sun
Building and Construction Authority (Singapore)
From actually promoting BIM standards to sustainablity to a Super Low Energy Buildings initiative, the Building and Construction Authority in Singapore has championed some of the most progressive efforts in the worlds of buildings and infrastructure that we have found, globally.
Adam Bridgman runs all Ironspring Network and Fund day-to-day operations. As an experienced digital industrial investor, he understands the adoption headwinds facing ‘Built World’ tech companies and the critical need for go-to-market, channel partners. In 2016, he established HOLT Ventures and in 2017, convened the original Ironspring Network to help serve this purpose. Adam co-founded Ironspring in 2019 to formalize this network-driven investment approach in digital industrial innovation.
Launched one of the most noteworthy industry accelerators with their founding of Dyruptek, their partnership with Brick & Mortar, and backing high profile startups like Box, while also piloting their own technology in areas such as safety and predictive analytics.
Founded in 2011, Camber Creek may be the world's first proptech focused fund. Although, primarily focused on real estate investments, Casey scored early with an investment in project management software, Latista when it was subsequently acquired by Textura which then was acquired by Oracle.
Before industry-focused groups like Brick & Mortar and Building Venture announced their funds, Gabe was leading a focused investment effort at Pritzker Group with early investments in companies like Smart Building Technology Company Augury, Virtual Reality pioneer IRISVR, drone company DroneBase, and BuildingAccess company OpenPath. They invest their own money. So, they don't make as much noise as the LP driven funds, but they are truly pioneers, and Gabe blazed the trail early in the cycle.
Saudi Industrial Development Fund
As the leader of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, he expanded the fund's effort in areas such as mining and logistics. Under its Vision 2030 economic plan, the fund has expanded its sponsorship of many industrial projects with the promise of promoting more technology adoption in the region.
Established a global footprint and a leadership position among building materials players with one of the earliest and most fully developed industry accelerator programs. Cemex Venture portfolio now includes numerous noteworthy start ups from many corners of the world in across a broad spectrum of use cases.
Business Unit Director
Under his leadership, following a 7 million pound investment announced in mid 2017, MACE has has emerged as a leader in modular and prefabricated building technologies in high rises, single family homes, and infrastructure projects.
In 2015 he developed Project Etopia Group with the sole aim of creating a more economical and environmental utopia through technology and next-generation buildings. Fast forward to late 2018 and he and Etopia have not only taken the market by storm, but have developed a leading 5G plug and play smart system, built and deployed the world's leading innovative building system with scalable manufacturing and co-developed white & multi-colored solar cladding.
After grabbing youtube views with demos of their robotic dog for construction sites, and announcing a partnership with Halobuilder and construction companies like Hensel Phelps to further develop Spot for the construction market, he announced that Spot will be Boston Dynamics first commercial product. Research firm, Tractica, predicts 7,000 robots on construction sites by 2025.
Brayman Construction/ Tybot
Leveraging expertise in finance, construction and also the deep robotics competencies of the Pittsburgh area, he has fostered one of the most successful robotics applications in the industry and promises to bring more in the coming years. There are other entrepreneurs working to bring robotics to the industry, but few bring the blend of skills, experience, and resources that Steve has brought to the effort. His forray into construction began in 1993 with his buyout of Brayman Construction, a mid-sized civil contractor based in the Pennsylvania.
AI Space Factory
He was among the winners of the NASA Space Building Challenge and a former architect at KPF. He leads AI Spacefactory, where he is working to develop TERA, a 3d printed structure that both uses recycled materials and can be recycled at the end of its life cycle. He is focused on structures both for Earth and for space.
Lead Mechanical Engineer
She showed early leadership in the field of 3d printing in construction. leading a team that successfully printed a footbridge for the military at Camp Pendleton. Program manager for the additive construction program at the US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, her work includes developing 3D printers that are more suitable for the demanding conditions the US Military faces and are able to produce a variety of structures for their needs.
We first heard about Apis Corp back in 2015 when they showed up out of the blue to partner with us and Northwestern University students on a 3d printing project. Very early in that effort, they have made big strides by printing what they claim to be the largest 3d printed building in the world with plans to come to the United states in 2020. We look forward to meeting them.
From his early efforts to develop an innovation ecosystem for the industry with Northwestern University to his recent work with Oracle and The Innovation Lab he has championed, he has been a consistent leader in the smart projects ecosystem. The new effort with Oracle has brought many partners to their table and, in so doing, provided significant support to the development of emerging technology in the industry.
Beyond overseeing the implementation of emerging technologies for this major industry player, she has been an outspoken advocate, mentor, and educator on the topic.
From his role in several of the industry's early tech companies to his numerous smart cities engagements around the world and his co-founding of the industry's AEC Hackathon, he has emerged as a global connector of and promoter for the industry's "smart" ecosystem. From a next generation transit system for Memphis to smart cities projects in China, Paul's company has many pursuits, but particularly shines in championing a smarter future for our cities.
Senior Vice President and Director of Technology North America
According to ENR "over 25 years of experience in engineering and environmental consulting services with emphasis on applied technology and innovation." She co-founded Atkins' North America commercial IT business in 1996 and later launched the region’s first formal technology R&D program." These are impressive credentials both early in the growth of the emerging technology landscape in the industry as well as today.
She is responsible for technology implementation in one of the South's leading mechanical contractors. Technology leaders in the specialty trades have not received as much visibility as in other parts of the industry, and she has helped mechanical contractors, especially, to establish reputations as strong players in the ecosystem.
Director, Emerging Technologies
As Global Innovation Leader at Jacobs and a 2018 Chair of the Technology in Architecture Practice for the American Institute of Architects, she has emerged as a leader in promoting advanced technology in the field of design.
Senior Manager of Construction Technology
As the Senior Manager of Construction Technology, Tauhira keeps Milwaukee Tool top of mind and on the leading edge. Milwaukee continues to greatly expand its technology team at its headquarters, and Tauhira is everywhere innovation is happening in this industry, making sure those product teams back in Wisconsin are connected, worldwide.
As Co-Founder and CEO of VIATechnik, a virtual design and construction consulting firm, she has been a leading advocate for virtual design and construction. Now, she is partnering with her alma matter, Stanford University, to bring technology training to the broader industry.
She has become a leader in Suffolk's digital revolution through the development of smarter ways to use technology for the purpose of collaboration and group work along with data visualization.
Head of Technology
Partnering with Autodesk, she revamped and implemented a new digital core for the company and used a "board Game" to train people.