Mace People

Manuela Oddo

Senior BIM Manager

Construction, UK

Changing perceptions and finding solutions – that’s Manuela Oddo’s mantra as she strives to transform our industry, implementing new digital strategies in construction and helping our clients adapt to modern ways of working. It’s her passion for both data and creativity that launched her career over five years ago, and as a Senior BIM Manager at Mace, Manuela continues to explore the possibilities offered by technology, enabling improvement at all stages of the project process.

How did you get into what you do?
As a child, I was keen on playing problem-solving games and robotic toys, and as I grew into my teens, I developed my passion for engineering through studies, in Maths and other technical subjects. I then studied at university in Italy for five years and undertook my masters in Venice. It was there that I was first introduced to BIM. At that time, BIM was a relatively new concept, quickly expanding and soon to become high in demand! And so, I then saw the opportunity to bring my studies, expertise, and passion together by working in both BIM and digital.
What does your current role at Mace entail?

My job requires me to manage everything digitally. It’s like building a project twice - first digitally, then in reality. This ultimately means lowering project risk by identifying and solving issues before Mace sets foot onsite. It’s essential that I take an analytical approach in my role and that involves me taking a high-level overview of the process and honing in on the detail. It’s like a painting - if you step back, you can see the detail but if you’re too close then you miss the overall picture. So, you need oversight of all angles to get the full perspective.

I’m responsible for a team of digital managers across a range of projects of different types, sizes, and values. My work involves the setting-up and management of Business Unit Digital strategies and digital information processes from the late stage of design, through to tender and all the way through to construction and project handover. I enjoy looking for the newest ideas and solutions available in the market, which then provide huge benefits to the design process, delivery, and post completion of our projects.

How do you redefine the boundaries of ambition?

While working on the Greenwich Peninsula Upper Riverside project, and carrying out my day-to-day activities, I developed a data dashboard displaying the usage of tower cranes across the development. This helped the team to gain insight into tower crane efficiencies, trade usages, winded-off time and the weather forecast. In a nutshell, it enabled the team to make better informed decisions based on the data collected, and I’m pleased to say it’s now being rolled out across the business.

I also developed a workflow for processing laser scan information back into the 3D model, to progressively check the works on site were in accordance with the construction design. Now working at Nova East and Portland House for Land Securities, I’m both developing the digital engineering strategy and simultaneously training my peers. It’s great to see how BIM awareness and BIM adoption has massively improved at Mace, and most of my team are now advanced in using the model. 3D models are used in pretty much every meeting, not just for coordination, and that is a massive improvement from a mainly 2D-based industry.

Why Mace?
I joined Mace in early 2018 and with Mace’s brilliant reputation in the industry, I knew I would feel a huge sense of achievement with the type of high-profile projects I’d be exposed to. I wanted to be a part of a company who never stand still and always want to evolve and innovate over time, and Mace is leading the charge when it comes to delivering digitally. This means we’re delivering smarter buildings, both responsibly and in record time.
What motivates you everyday?
Digital transformation is all about creating an environment where people can make well-informed decisions. What excites me about my role is that it allows me to have a better control of those outcomes, boosting the quality of my work and that of those around me. It’s a breath of fresh air when I receive gratitude from people who have improved what they’ve been doing their entire career. Being female in a traditionally male industry has never held me back like I thought it could – in fact, I’ve been supported by my peers both male and female and my love for the industry and digital has only flourished.
What motivates you every day?

Making a difference. Every day I challenge myself on the value I’ve added, both to my clients and to the company. It’s important to constantly look for ways to dream bigger and to leave a positive impact. In a dynamic and fast-paced business, delivering successful outcomes for clients and constantly learning and evolving keeps me motivated.

What skills do you need to be good at your job?

You have to embrace innovation and have a forward-thinking and solution-based mindset.. It’s vital to always be one step ahead of industry trends and processes, while also being able to adapt to utilise new technologies that you can introduce to both your clients and teams. There’s still a lot of work  to be done to help people adapt to new ways of working. The challenge is in addressing how people think about digitalisation, which is both a journey and a culture change. The combination of how technology is used, alongside setting up processes and presenting information is not just to achieve faster results, but to enable the team, the sector and the client to achieve greater value in the delivered asset.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

In my spare time, I like to feed my creative side. I enjoy photography so like to walk around the city with my camera to snap architecture, streets and nature. I also like to free hand sketch urban landscapes.


“Mace is leading the charge when it comes to delivering digitally. This means we’re delivering smarter buildings, both responsibly and in record time.”