Insight

Innovator Spotlight - Chris Twilley

Chris Twilley, Senior Field Engineer

So, Chris, in a nutshell, what do you do at DAVIS? 
I originally started at DAVIS back in ‘04. Since 2011, though, I’ve worked with our Field Engineering Department, and it’s been incredible. We’ve taken huge steps in the past several years, and I’ve really enjoyed working closely with our project teams. 

Technology is getting better and better, and I’m really excited about what we’re doing at DAVIS. Automated monitoring solutions track our activities in real-time, and geosystems help our teams understand their projects on a deeper level than ever before. These innovations have changed the industry, and they’ve changed the way DAVIS performs. The way we use data benefits architects, owners, and everyone else involved with construction—I love being a part of the solutions that change the game. 

Is there a lot of research that goes into implementing new technology on a project? 
Behind the scenes, there’s a lot of work to be done before things get underway. We work closely with our project team and owners to figure out the perfect solution for everyone. Some things take years to come together, but that effort is always worth it. One of my favorite recent ventures is Pix4D, a program that uses cameras on tower cranes to collect tons of day-to-day data. We found a company that meshes perfectly with our approach, and it’s led to a great partnership. 

Pix4D walkthrough

So you’re an expert at these things, but when you implement new technology, how do you bring others up to speed? 
I create work aids for our project teams that lay out what to expect when dealing with each piece of technology for the first time. I also help troubleshoot whenever issues come up, and then I work hand-in-hand with each team to smooth over the whole process. It’s an entire team effort, really.

Did you always envision yourself working in construction? What was the career path that brought you here? 
I originally interned in high school with an architectural engineering firm, and my plan was to become an architect. The survey department at that firm needed extra help one day and called me out into the field with them, even though I was just an intern! I went out in the field and really fell in love with land surveying, so I decided to pursue it. Later, I fell in love with how fast-paced the building industry was, and I haven’t looked back. I really enjoy figuring out how to make our processes more accurate and efficient, and I’m excited about the direction we’re heading. 

What excites you about the future of technology at DAVIS?
Now that DAVIS has an in-house team working with new technologies and strategies, we can leverage our research during the bid process. We’re finding new solutions owners might not be fully aware of yet, and it’s exciting to be able to show them our capabilities.

You’re a busy guy! How do you relax on your time off? 
I live on the Eastern Shore, so obviously I love the water. I go to the beach all the time with my son, who’s getting ready to turn 9! We go fishing, boating, and golfing as much as we can. The fast pace is Monday through Friday, but it’s our time on the weekends, and I love it. 

Things are definitely fast-paced these days. What makes you stay at DAVIS? 
I’ve built so many relationships with different people at this company, and I feel at home. It’s like family to me. I want to stay at DAVIS for as long as I can and continue making an impact on the company and the industry.