Guiding teams into the future with construction technology
EMJ’s people are the building blocks of the company. Their personalities, skills and past experiences are large parts of what make the company great. We are proud of each member of the team and enjoy sharing their stories.
Jonathan uses a Matterport reality capture device to capture virtual walkthroughs of rooms at EMJ’s 728 Market Street project.
Jonathan Deming, EMJ’s Director of BIM and Construction Technology, began his construction career building U.S. Embassies internationally—most notably in Beijing, China, and Moscow, Russia. He worked in various roles from construction project manager to design engineer, gaining understanding of the complexities and challenges of many construction roles.
After several years of international construction, he changed his course to focus on BIM and technology.
“Building internationally expands your perspective and pushes you to look beyond the way things have always been done,” Jonathan says. “Exploring ways to increase efficiency and improve the overall construction process in other countries really launched my passion for construction technology.”
After shifting his career focus, Jonathan gained experience working on projects of all sizes, including the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) $90 million Defense Distribution Center. He led a team that self-performed the design and fabrication of mechanical systems to include ductwork and piping, using 3D modeling technology. This effort resulted in over $500,000 in savings to the project and several accolades, including first place in the 2013 Sysque Model of the Year.
Jonathan also worked on DFW’s Automated People Mover and Terminal Expansion, a $1.2 billion program, where he served as a quality assurance engineer and scheduling manager.
A model of Shaw Industry Group’s Create Centre by EMJ’s Construction Technology team. The office building was designed by Gensler.
Today, Jonathan leads EMJ Corporation and its family of companies in the training and application of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and various other construction technologies, such as laser scanning, smart site, 4D scheduling and more. Some of the projects impacted by his team’s work include 728 Market Street, U.S. Xpress, Connection Park, Chattanooga Whiskey and Farmer Brothers.
“Applying technology to construction can be complex and disruptive, so it’s important that we compare methods and help clients understand what the best options are so that they can achieve their goals and cut risk,” says Jonathan.
Jonathan’s department is also responsible for selecting and implementing the cloud-based project collaboration system Procore, currently being rolled out across EMJ.
With nearly 20 years of experience, Jonathan is committed to sharing his knowledge with others in the industry. In 2016, he founded Grassroots BIM to serve his Chattanooga community. This group of like-minded professionals who are passionate about construction technology holds quarterly meetings to foster community and collaboration within the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries.
“The group’s tech-focus aligns perfectly with Chattanooga’s emphasis on innovation, and it has the potential to really enhance the AEC community,” says Jonathan. “We are building great momentum and are excited to see the results.”
He has also served as the speaker for Autodesk University and a guest lecturer for Carnegie Mellon University Graduate School of Civil Engineering, The University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, and The University of Tennessee School of Engineering Technology. This August, Jonathan will be one of the main speakers at the Advancing Field Technology 2017 conference, where he will address topics ranging from data analytics to ROI case studies.
For those trying to find their way in the construction industry or life in general, Jonathan says, “Find your passion. It won’t necessarily be instant or easy, but when you find it, you will have a whole new outlook on your job and your purpose in life.”