Keep this story going! Share below!
The innovation of SJH Engineering is using a relatively new software called CSiBridge, based on past software. CSiBridge was developed by Computers & Structures, Inc. (CSi). CSiBridge is a form of technology used by SJH to efficiently design bridges and other engineering projects, which helps contribute and solve Goals 9 and 11 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. By using CSiBridge, SJH Engineering can design resilient infrastructure (Goal 9) and design structures for sustainable and safe cities (Goal 11).
Realizing that traditional software is not suitable for highly irregular ramp bridge designs, SJH adopted CSiBridge. It uses a simple graphic user interface and integrates state regulation modules of bridges into one, bringing extreme convenience to bridge design. This software can quickly complete these tasks, enabling bridge construction to achieve more efficiency and accuracy within the initial stage. On the other hand, the software is relatively innovative compared to the software used in the past.
SJH can use this innovative software to achieve high efficiency and precision in the initial bridge construction stage while adopting an innovative way to map the entire bridge construction industry. The success of bridge construction improves the convenience of residents' life and assists the efficient implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In other words, this kind of technological innovation enables bridge construction missions to achieve their goals more efficiently and precisely using the most advanced technology in a short period.
As early adopters of CSiBridge in the sector of medium-sized companies, the software represents a series of technical innovations and improves the efficiency of all forms of engineering design. The company gets more revenue through the use of this software. It thus reduces its costs; as Mr. Kang mentioned in our interview, "In the long term, we are aiming to expand the use of the software with the experience gained from the project to put the company in a better position in the future to secure future assignments." As an early adopter in the industry, SJH is at the forefront of technological innovations and will be in an advantageous position in the future.
The inspiration that caused the innovative usage of CSiBridge is a project called the Hunts Point Access Improvement Project, located in the South Bronx. This project took place in New York City, and it was to provide a connection between Sheridan Boulevard and Edgewater Road. This project was launched by the New York State Department of Transportation and is estimated to be worth $1.7 billion. CSiBridge was implemented over conventional software due to the highly distinctive design of the ramp bridge. As stated by Mr. Kang, “When we were tasked with this complex situation, a few senior engineers were evaluating multiple commercially available software in the market. Then upon the evaluation, the engineers recommended it to the upper management, and the upper management decided that, yes, it looks like the CSiBridge software is suitable compared with other software because it has the capabilities specifically suited for this complex situation here. That's how we decided.”
For a company the size of SJH, a medium-sized engineering company, such software usage is rare, therefore revolutionizing the sector. Another statement by Mr. Kang shows this as he states, “For us, it’s relatively new and not so many companies of our size we're able to do that (use the CSiBridge software). We demonstrate that we are kind of the early adopters among the medium-sized companies.”
The overall impact of the innovation is that CSiBridge helps provide quality designs for engineering projects. There are many benefits of the innovative software SJH uses for designing buildings, bridges, highways, and transit structures. The senior engineers, upper management, software developers, and the information technology sectors were able to use CSiBridge, a speedy modeling system for structures with high levels of accuracy. It includes model movement and uses a 64-bit survey engine that runs quicker than regular software while having a user-friendly graphical interface. The program is built using past software similar to it, making it an efficient and effective tool for Mr. Kang and the employees of SJH. As stated by Mr. Kang, “The use of the CSiBridge software allows us to successfully design complex bridges and deliver to our clients a quality product in time and within budget. Without which it could have been quite difficult; it would involve a lot of manual design work and hours to get it done. So, the benefits include, but are not limited to speedy modeling of structure and very good accuracy.”
The short-term effects of the innovation are that it allows SJH and it's engineering consultants to offer designs on time and meet their challenging contract schedules. The long-term effects of the innovation are that it aims to expand the use of the software using the experience from the project. SJH will be in a better position to secure future assignments due to its newfound technical expertise.
By adopting CSiBridge, SJH saw two types of benefits, quantitative and qualitative. Quantitatively, design times for bridge projects were decreased by 25% due to CSiBridge’s 64-bit operating system, which is much faster than traditional software such as StatPro. This translates to the average design time decreasing from six months to four and a half months. SJH is at the forefront of more than 157,000 medium-sized engineering firms in the US. The use of CSiBridge has already proved its worth for SJH, being the core reason for winning the bid for the Hunts Point Access Improvement Project. This has brought in $2 million in revenue, all for the relatively small cost of $24,000 a year for CSiBridge. According to Mr. Kang, the cost for the software helps complete the projects more quickly and “enhances the company’s profit by reducing payroll cost and company wages.”
Qualitatively, SJH stands to benefit from improved interactions with both customers and employees through CSiBridge. For customers, the quicker and better quality designs from SJH serve as an assurance that the project can be done within the given restrictions without having to deal with multiple delays and cost overruns. The use of newer technology also catches customers' attention, considering that most medium-sized firms are still using software designed for simple buildings, not bridges. On the employee side, CSiBridge’s user-friendly graphical interface and built-in state regulation modules help reduce employees' workload. At the same time, it reduces the amount of training that needs to be provided for new employees.
Using CSiBridge allows the projects to accelerate while maintaining a high level of accuracy further. This software significantly benefits society as it decreases the average amount of time it takes to get these projects done. Furthermore, CSiBridge enhances the quality of the designs and the overall success of the projects SJH completes.
One can even deduce that CSiBridge plays a role in reducing global warming in terms of emissions. Delays and cost overruns during the construction process lead to significant greenhouse gas emissions from heavy machinery. This is further exacerbated by inefficient designs, which take long periods to be created and lead to increased emissions from the vehicles that use the constructed infrastructure. This technology solves these issues through a more streamlined design process by preventing delays from the design side. A more efficient design means vehicles using the infrastructure would have fewer emissions. CSiBridge as software is revolutionary to construction worldwide, and if it was to be used as a benchmark for projects, it could significantly change the world we live in today.
Jing Kang, Senior Vice President
SJH Engineering is a private engineering design company that designs, builds, and inspects multiple projects ranging from buildings to bridges. SJH is a medium-sized firm that employs 65 full-time employees, most of which are registered professionals in their respective fields.