Episode 03: Sam Dougherty and Michael Warren of AECOM

Using Scanning and Laser Technology to Solve the World’s Most Complex Challenges

Sam Dougherty serves as Vice President in charge of AECOM’s Reality Capture and Digital Technologies Group. These roles include asset management data gathering, terrestrial and mobile laser scanning, drone data acquisition, manned aerial acquisition, tablet data collection and modern surveying data collection techniques. He has experience managing federal, statewide, municipal and private stand alone and on-call contracts for transportation, water/ wastewater, environmental and buildings and places. His primary areas of expertise is his ability to integrate safety, quality, communication and client focus into every project from its onset to its completion. Mr. Dougherty specializes in finding cost effective solutions beneficial to each task, allowing for successful project completion while meeting the clients budgetary and scheduling needs. 


Michael Warren is AECOM’s Americas Director of Digital Practice & Technology. In this role, he serves AECOM’s team of industry leading subject matter experts and technical specialists as the a primary advisor before and during project delivery for small to large and complex projects not limited to Reality Capture, Aviation, Commercial and Passenger Rail, and Highway Surface and Structures projects where BIM technology is a primary delivery method and as a submission requirement at the end of the project design and construction. Michael’s primary duties include developing, managing, and overseeing the implementation of Global development strategies and initiatives for the traditional application of BIM for vertical structures, and is responsible for integrating the BrIM and CIIM initiatives within the Transportation business line technology stack asset catalog. Michael has over 25 years of diverse professional design and construction experience after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor of Architecture Degree and master’s candidate concentration in Public Policy and Management. His non-traditional employment experiences include public service as a Chief Building Inspector/Fire Marshal and as an Applications Engineer and Commercial Field Services Supervisor at an international aluminum window and curtainwall manufacturer.


Your Question Guide for this Episode:

(6:18) What are your favorite technologies in the reality capture industry right now?

(11:49) What are some of the recent projects that you’re using reality capture for?

(38:20) How often do you use the scan data directly and how often do you turn it back into an as-built model?

(41:29) What are some advanced uses of this technology? 

(46:00) What are some of the conferences you like to attend?

(47:52) Are there any projects that you find you have to frequently go back to rescan?

(1:03:40) What futuristic product would you love to bring back to the present? 


Extra Learnings:

(12:40) What is BOMA?

(14:06) Using survey control on projects

(15:00) When to use hand-held scanners and when to use terrestrial scanners

(17:08) Turning point clouds into something intelligible

(19:20)  Laser Scans vs as-builts

(24:47) Using reality capture on a nuclear project

(30:42)  Trying to solve the problem of how to house and share large and complex data files

(43:42) Every project is important and the multiple uses of reality capture

(50:25) Creating a network of contractors around the country to do scanning work for you


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