ConTech Conversations: DPR robotics lead on leveraging tech to solve problems – Construction Dive

Dry Wall Contractor

ConTech Conversations presents a discussion with a leader in the construction technology field each month. Click here for past discussions.

Henning Roedel, DPR’s robotics lead, is an advocate for the use of tech on construction sites.

Through his studies at Stanford University, Roedel got involved with Scandinavian general contractor Veidekke Entreprenad AB, via the university’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering.

Now, Roedel has a key role in the Redwood City, California, contractor’s tech adoption. As the firm’s main proponent for the use of robots on its jobs, Roedel likes to be selective about their application, and to make sure that the company has a good reason for their inclusion on projects. 

Here, Roedel talks with Construction Dive about his experience, his advice for young people and DPR’s plans for future tech deployments. 

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

CONSTRUCTION DIVE: What do you think is the most exciting tech available in the market for contractors right now?

HENNING ROEDEL: Considering my job focus, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention robotics; I think it has a lot of potential and is garnering a significant amount of attention because of the potential. It’s so exciting, and really, we’re just at the beginning of what it can ultimately achieve for the industry.

Right now, more broadly, we’re seeing a convergence of tech — from self-driving cars to battery tech — hitting the market; and construction robotics is leveraging all of it to generate amazing tools. The industry is also ripe and ready for it to make the day-to-day a bit safer and more productive. It’s something all construction companies need right now.

Henning Roedel

Courtesy of DPR Construction


How do you push for more technology adoption, especially if people are resistant?

It’s a fine balance — but at DPR, we’re fortunate to have a core value of Ever Forward, which helps remove many barriers to trying out and bringing on new technologies. It encourages innovation and adoption to become a pillar within the company, vs. a one-off or something on the backburner. It’s part of the culture here.

Also, we have a lot of respect for the time of our people out on jobsites. We always ask first before pursuing a pilot.



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