From BIM technician to Science Museum video star: Ana’s life is inspiring the next generation.
Ana Yao Sun, a Building Information Modelling (BIM) technician who joined ISG in summer 2019, doesn’t love being the centre of attention. When her name was put forward to front a video for the Science Museum in London, UK, as a representative from the construction industry, she questioned it. She freely admits she was “a bit sceptical but willing to give it a go”.
The video showcases Ana’s brilliant work at the cutting edge of the construction industry, working both from ISG's office and a live site using modern methods of construction and virtual reality (VR) technology. It is now part of the museum’s ‘Technicians: The David Sainsbury Gallery’ – open to the public since November 2022 and standing as an inspiration to the next generation of technicians.
Despite her qualms, Ana’s glad she pushed herself and got involved.
‘Technicians: The David Sainsbury Gallery’ opened in November at the Science Museum in London. The gallery showcases the vital careers of technicians from creative arts, manufacturing, health-science and renewable energy. Featuring over 100 varied technician roles, the vision was for visitors to explore various routes into these important careers and go behind the scenes with technicians. The Science Museum was looking to feature individuals who did not have directly relevant degrees. When the museum spoke to ISG in June 2022, ISG's digital construction director, Mark Norton, nominated Ana.
Mark says: “Ana joined ISG a few years back. She was a little shy initially, but her drive and creativity has always shone through. She was a natural choice to be put forward for the Technicians gallery, showcasing her skills and inspiring the next generation of construction talent. A credit to herself and the team.”
Before coming to the UK, Ana studied Product Design and Engineering in Spain. She underwent intensive training and gained experience in computer-aided design (CAD) modelling at a different company – a job she secured through the recommendation of her friend’s boyfriend. She was then contacted by ISG’s Talent Acquisition team. As Ana cheerfully puts it: “It was all a bit random, really!” Ana has since worked on ISG projects such as The Oak Cancer Centre in London for The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.
Having been to the Science Museum before, Ana knew the quality of the exhibitions and galleries and was interested in the opportunity. For her, the biggest barrier was overcoming her nerves about being in the spotlight.
The Science Museum filmed her dynamic work using an OpenSpace camera mount and VR – modern technology at the forefront of the construction industry. Ana says: “It was nice because it was showing what the team does, not only me. I’m really not the kind of person who enjoys the spotlight. The director kept telling me to smile!” Having her wider team in the end of the video was a familiar comfort.
Ana visited the gallery when it opened to the public. She says: “It was so nice to go to the museum and see the whole gallery with the different interactive bits, including the video of me. Put together the video looked really good, and the filming crew did a great editing job.”
It’s important to Ana to help inspire the next generation of technicians to follow a career in construction. The built environment industry is often underappreciated for its entrepreneurial use of emerging technologies. Ana knows through her work how innovative the industry is, and how ISG champions modern methods of construction. She hopes her video will help in spreading that message.
When visitors attend the gallery they can fill out a questionnaire to find out which technician roles they might enjoy. Clearly the algorithm behind it is effective, as Ana got building services technician. She jokes: “I was glad because I felt like I’d chosen something that actually suits me! It makes you curious about what would happen if you chose a different degree or path. I was creative and artistic, but I wanted a maths component. So that’s how I ended up in product design. I think it’s a really great tool for people who don’t know what they want, because there were jobs I hadn’t heard of.”
ISG is proud to have since entered a partnership with the Science Museum as a STEM Circle Member, joining other leading STEM brands.
For those looking for equally effective careers advice, it’s probably worth popping down to the Science Museum. And look out for Ana while you’re there!