Automotive Research & Development Market Q&A: IMEG’s deep bench of expertise
IMEG Automotive Research & Development Market Leader Keith Vandenbussche talks about the challenges facing the automotive sector and other related topics in the following Q&A.
Q: What distinguishes IMEG’s automotive team from the competition?
A: When people think of the automotive sector, they think a lot about manufacturing and building a product, but where we really shine is in the research and development arena. That space is very technical, and it’s driven by a lot of regulations, whether it’s air emittance, miles per gallon, or safety; all suppliers need to spend a lot of resources on researching and developing the product ahead of time. And that’s where we really come in with our expertise and knowledge of these spaces and designing these spaces to accommodate this testing and development. We are very knowledgeable in things like dynamometers and labs, and all the testing that goes into a vehicle, and there’s a lot of environmental regulations that drive this testing today.
Q: What are some of the key influences on automotive facility projects?
A: Well, a few challenges that come to mind are just the international global competition. It really drives very competitive fees in our sector, so we have to be very efficient on how we do work to compete globally. The other biggest challenge is that the automotive sector tends to lean towards design build projects. They need to move in a much more rapid pace, so they need the drawings done quicker and they need the packages out quicker to meet the milestones that it takes to build a car.
Q: What added value does IMEG as a firm bring to automotive clients?
A: I think one of the biggest values IMEG brings to our customers is just our wealth and diversity of talent. It really creates a one-stop shop for our customers instead of dividing up the project into a number of contracts. We have everything from mechanical, electrical, structural, civil, acoustics, architectural lighting, building technology, and security, and it really makes it a lot easier to work with us. The other big advantage of IMEG is our national presence. With as many offices as we have, it really helps clients that are expanding across the country, or customers that might have multiple locations. That makes us a little closer to their offices.
Q: Where does your passion and motivation for your work come from?
A: My career really started with the innovation of computer aided design, or CAD. That was my first springboard into the automotive sector and laying out assembly lines and things like that for the automotive industry. From there, it just propelled into working to design assembly lines and being part of a very innovative product. When you see all the pieces come together and you see a fully built car, it’s quite exciting. Also, my grandfather started in assembly line, my dad worked on programming and ordering cars, and my two brothers are still working for the automotive industry, so it’s been a nice family history in the automotive sector.