People of Willow: Ignacio Gil Urrutia

PostedWillow Team

Hey there Ignacio, tell us a little about your role at Willow.

I joined Willow in October 2019 as a Digital Project Manager, focusing on providing Digital Engineering services and implementing WillowTwin™, Willow’s digital twin solution.

From the construction phase, all the way to handover, I am responsible for leading our Digital Engineering services. This service allows our customers to have confidence that qualitative data (accuracy, completeness, reliability, relevance and timeliness) is delivered by contractors. This service includes :

– Supporting our customers define digital information requirements and information exchange workflows. In operational terms, this translates to establishing a digital twin execution plan.

– Once the digital twin execution plan is defined, my role is to track the implementation of information exchange workflows and then data collection and quality. To do so, Willow audits BIM Models and other data sources to ensure compliance with project information standards (e.g. BIM Execution plan, Level of Information requirements Digital Twin Execution Plan).

Our customers are spending significant amounts of capital implementing Building Information Modelling (BIM) on their projects during design and construction. The benefits of technology has predominantly been oriented towards designers and contractors. This is when our digital twin solution comes in. Our customers are implementing WillowTwinTM on their assets to ensure the data generated does not go to waste and instead is leveraged during the operations and maintenance phase of their assets.

As a Digital Project Manager, I lead the implementation of WillowTwin™, my role while implementing our cloud-based solution is to ensure Willow gather and federate otherwise siloed data into a single source of truth. Our platform makes data accessible for all stakeholders.

This task requires coordinating project stakeholders such as the BIM Manager, the BMS integrator and other third parties as well as our internal teams including the Delivery team, the Smart Building Technologies team and Product and Engineering team.

Once all data sources and the platform are delivered, with the support of our Customer Success team, I contribute to training users and ensuring the solution is adopted by all stakeholders. This is a unique opportunity to gather feedback and provide the Product and Engineering team with valuable insights on the product use and opportunities for improvement.

At Willow, I wear different hats throughout the week by contributing to tender responses and supporting the ISO 19650 implementation.

What were you doing before Willow?

Before joining Willow, I was working as a BIM Manager at Systra, a French multinational engineering and consulting group in the mobility sector.

I had the privilege of working on the Grand Paris Express, the largest transport project in Europe. More specifically, I worked on the South extension of line 14 and the line 15 south T2.

What led you to Willow?

When the team reached out, I was impressed by the ambition of the company to become the leader in terms of a digital twin solution for real estate and infrastructure. The messaging was consistent across the different global offices I interviewed with and this led me to be convinced that I would be joining a team with a common purpose. It was also clear that everyone in the team had incredible experiences I could learn from.

Personally, I was excited to shift my BIM skillset developed during design and construction towards operations and maintenance. When I saw the product, I understood the incredible value our customers would be getting. As a BIM Manager, I was often frustrated thinking BIM models would end up in a hard drive in someone’s drawer.

I was impressed by the ambition of the company to become the leader in terms of digital twin solution for real estate and infrastructure.

Willow was also a very attractive opportunity because I knew the global presence of the company would allow the company to get the most out of my hard skills and soft skills such as languages. When I read the job description, I knew I was signing up for huge challenge. I was impressed by the confidence and believe that was instilled in me as a young professional.

At the time I was based in Paris, and my people leader, Lucas Cusack, was very mindful of the potential impacts of moving countries. He was a great ambassador for the company, showcasing the importance given to employees wellbeing within the organisation. He made sure my family and I had a smooth landing here in the UK.

What do you love most about working at Willow?

At Willow what I enjoy the most are the following aspects:

Working for a global company: Willow is a true global operation. I can’t deny that time difference can be tough at times, but it’s a unique opportunity to connect with people in different parts of the world, different backgrounds and cultures. It is fascinating to think that I have probably only seen 1% of colleagues in person.
The job itself: There is never a dull day at Willow. Whether I am auditing BIM Models, in a customer meeting or collaborating with a colleague in Australia, the Philippines or the United States, I am always stimulated by the job.
Quality time: Willowers know how to have fun. For instance, at the London office we like to take time on Fridays to play some video games together.

What is unique about Willow’s culture?

Willow has managed to embrace a cohesive culture across a worldwide organisation. That is unique. Every individual in the organisation takes ownership of their challenges and it’s a common Willow trait to step out of your role to embrace challenges that were not originally in the job description. This gives unlimited room for personal and professional growth.

Willow has managed to embrace a cohesive culture across a worldwide organisation. That is unique.

In a company with significant diversity in terms of backgrounds, Willowers are capable of understanding and empathising with others perspectives, opinions, and points of view. This allows us as employees to identify customers pain points and develop services and products that help us solve them.

What do you find most exciting about working in tech?

The most exciting and rewarding aspect about working in tech is getting feedback from users when our services and digital twin solution make their lives easier.

I believe that moving forward, technology will allow our users to unlock use cases they haven’t even yet imagined. The possibilities are endless and our role is to make sure data is future-proof. That’s exciting!

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on the Stories project, a 64,000-sqm commercial real estate project in the Paris area. AXA Investment Managers will host tenants in 7 office levels and 2 underground parking levels. The site will provide high-end services to the users.

On this project, we have been providing Digital Engineering services since October 2019 and we are currently implementing WillowTwin™.

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