Nick Tilford, Project Coordinator

People in Revu: A Q&A Series

Welcome to People in Revu! New for 2017, this Q&A series will show the world some of the amazing individuals that make the AEC industry the dynamic industry it is today – in your words, of course. If you or someone you know would like to participate in our People in Revu column, share your thoughts with us! Please email to learn more. Let’s be better together!

In our first Q&A of the series, we chat with project coordinator Nick Tilford of Schuff Steel, who shares why it’s good to always ask why—and more.

1. How did you get into your current role?

I had been a detailer for close to ten years before going to work for Schuff Steel. Though hired originally for Project Coordination, I’ve organically grown into a BIM/VDC position for our office.

2. Do you have a mantra/saying/catch phrase at work?

“Measure twice, cut once” and “Always ask, why?” These are probably my favorite sayings. Digitally, you’re able to adjust and analyze so much that it seems silly to rush though something just to have to go back to the digital drawing board. Asking why has always been a big one for me because it drives critical thinking and self-education to ask that question of anything: “Why are we detailing a connection a certain way?” “Why is the field having trouble erecting this sequence?” It drives innovation in our company and in our industry.

3. What is your favorite part of your job?

Seeing digital projects become reality. There is nothing cooler than looking at a difficult connection on a screen and then going to the shop and seeing the shop fabricate it and then seeing it fully assembled in the field. It always impresses me how much we are able to do and how massive these structures really are in real life.

4. How do you see your job changing in one year? Five years? Ten years?

In one year, I really hope to see the adoption of base technology that has been put off or ignored for the past decade. Digital process management is vital to an organization staying nimble in a marketplace that’s demanding more from its contractors.

In five years, I hope VR and AR are utilized on daily tasks, as well as in the field. What BIM has done for our industry shouldn’t be contained within the walls of the office, but should be intelligence we can push to the field.

In ten years, I would like to see gamification manifest itself in any way, shape or form. I have my own thoughts on the matter, but I’m going to keep them to myself for the time being.

5. What do you know now that you wish you knew on day one?

The difference between failure and learning. I’m far too hard on myself, and when I was just starting in this industry, I saw failure as a reflection on my value to my organization… Learning from shortfalls and failed ideas or executions is what makes you better than you could ever hope to be on your own.

6. What advice do you have for someone who wants to be in your role?

Stay humble and hungry. Always have a thirst for knowledge. New things are always happening, and you have to stay open to new experiences.

7. How has using Revu impacted your career?

Revu has kept me current with the evolution of digital project organization and has helped me evolve my own collaboration with co-workers and others in my industry. I have been able to streamline workflows and communicate complex issues to customers and have quick turnaround for solutions.