Webinar – 002 – Automation in Construction


9AM to 11AM US CDT, October 8, 2020 (3PM-5PM, WET; 10PM-12AM, Beijing Time)




 Dr. George K. Chang, PE, President of ISIC


  • Todd Mansell, Product Application Specialist, Caterpillar
  • Jim Preston, Intelligent Paving Specialist, TOPCON
  • Richard Hewitt, P.E., State Construction Pavement Engineer, FL DOT
  • Kyle Klasen, PLS, Director of Surveys at WSB
  • Si Katara, President & Co-founder, Headlight
  • David Unkefer, P.E., Sr. Construction & Project Management Engineer, FHWA
  • Mike Wills, Operations Manager, Granite Construction, Sacramento, CA


Automated machine guidance (AMG) became mainstream throughout the early 2000s.  The benefits realized in terms of quality, efficiency, and speed of construction using AMG systems have been well-documented.  Equipment manufacturers have been building on their AMG experience and moving into the next generation of semi-autonomous and AI-enhanced fully-autonomous construction vehicles with machine-learning capability. A panel of industry experts will present the current state-of-the-practice using AMG, followed by a discussion of the challenges/solutions that are motivating the construction industry to adopt fully-autonomous construction equipment.


The registration fee is USD $99 for non-ISIC members. It is free for ISIC members. Not a member yet, join ISIC for free! We will provide certificates of 0.2 PDH to participants. Click the following button to register and secure your seat!

Speakers’ Bio

Todd Mansell, Product Application Specialist, Caterpillar; Technical committee member of ISIC

Todd has worked in the asphalt paving industry for over 30 years in different roles ranging from a department of transportation, engineering consulting firms, a heavy highway & civil construction company, and two equipment manufacturers.  Todd has been with Caterpillar for the past 8 years in the role of a Product Application Specialist focusing on asphalt pavers, soil and asphalt compaction, and new and emerging technologies.

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Jim Preston, Intelligent Paving Specialist, TOPCON; Technical committee member of ISIC

While attending Tri-State University and The Ohio State University, Jim interned for Civil Engineering and Consulting firms, working with municipalities and DOTs in road and bridge applications. Jim found an interest in fieldwork and began engaging with the technology manufacturers. Over the last 28 years, Jim has worked with many technology companies and international markets for civil engineering, construction, and mining. Holding membership with the ISIC and NRRA technology committees, he continues to broaden the scope of solutions. Working with Topcon Positioning Systems, Jim is proficient in identifying the applications to support the current and future needs of the industry.

Kyle Klasen, PLS, Director of Surveys at WSB

Kyle has worked 16 years at MnDOT, District 3, then 14 Years at WSB. Kyle oversees all survey operations from initial control and design surveys through final construction staking and as-builts for WSB’s transportation projects.  He also leads WSB’s efforts in the implementation of advanced technologies and data workflow from design to construction.  He has 13 years of experience working with contractors prepping machine control files, and supporting their field operations.

David Unkefer, P.E., Sr. Construction & Project Management Engineer, FHWA

David is a Senior Construction and Project Management Engineer, providing national technical assistance to FHWA and its partners. He is responsible for deploying innovative practices related to BIM for Infrastructure (aka civil integrated management or CIM), digital project delivery, and construction automation. He has led previous Every Day Counts initiatives for 3D engineered models and alternative contracting methods and is currently hosting post-EDC support for digital construction inspection and BIM usage for lifecycle asset management. David has been with FHWA for 27 years holding various engineering and leadership positions in 9 states. He is a professional engineer with degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida and Purdue University.

Richard Hewitt, P.E., State Construction Pavement Engineer, FDOT

Richhas worked for the Florida DOT for over 24 years. He began his working career in the building construction industry (framing, masonry, roofing, etc.) and spent several years as a contractor before returning to college. He has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida and is a Professional Engineer registered in Florida. He started with FDOT as a Professional Engineer Trainee and served in District 5 (Central Florida) as a Geotechnical Engineer, then the District Construction Materials Engineer, and finally, the District Bituminous Engineer. Rich currently works for the FDOT State Construction Office as the State Construction Pavement Engineer.  Rich has been involved in many innovations throughout his career. He is currently leading asphalt e-ticketing implementation and working with districts on writing specifications for 3D Model – Automated Machine Guidance projects.

Si Katara, President, Co-founder, HeadLight

As Co-Founder and President of HeadLight, Si’s focus is the growth of HeadLight’s business across all market sizes, segments, and critical geographies. Under his leadership, the company has quadrupled its market share over the last 3 years for its photo-based inspection technology that has been used on over $20 billion worth of infrastructure construction projects nationwide. Si brings 19 years of leadership, technical expertise, and construction technology experience to the organization and has an exceptional track record for delivering large-scale software systems on-time and on-budget for infrastructure construction reliably throughout his career. Si gained project enterprise software experience with Andiamo Systems, Cisco Systems, and Real Networks, companies whose primary function is content delivery via the web and network infrastructure, after earning a B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Washington. He is also a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program offered through Babson College.

Mike Wills, Operations Manager, Granite Construction, Sacramento, CA

Mike is responsible for the construction operations and equipment fleet for the Valley Region of Northern California. He’s worked for Granite since 1992 and has held positions of Field Engineer, Project Engineer, Estimator, Project Manager, and Construction Manager. Mike was honored to receive Granite’s Innovator of the Year award in 2019. Mike is also President of the Sacramento Construction Management Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the California State University at Sacramento Construction Management program.