Members of the Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) will kickoff their activities at the International Roofing Expo® by hosting a meetup on Sunday, February 10 at 2 p.m. at Vanderbilt University.

The meetup will allow members to review their various task teams’ progress on initiatives that were identified last fall when the group gathered at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash. 

Following a tech talk by Larry Bridgesmith, adjunct professor of law and coordinator, program on law & innovation, RT3 members will tour the Wond’ry, the epicenter for innovation and entrepreneurship at Vanderbilt University.  

RT3 will also host an educational panel on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 7:45 a.m. The session is titled “Contractor to Contractor: Technology Innovation Panel” and features five contractors sharing their successes and challenges with implementing technology into sales and marketing, operations, back office, health and safety and recruiting.

The panel participants are set to be Steve Little, president of KPOST Roofing and Waterproofing; Ken Kelly, president of Kelly Roofing; Gregg Wallick, Best Roofing; Michelle Boykin, COO of Rackley Roofing; and Josey Parks, CEO of J Wales Enterprises.

The panel will be moderated by Heidi Ellsworth, partner at RoofersCoffeeShop and the topics to be discussed during the panel include:

  • Augmented reality — as it relates to the aging workforce, training, assessment and testing, mapping and location as well as leak detection
  • Robotics — using drone technology and understanding what rooftop robotics and equipment are available and in use on the roof
  • Technology that impacts operations — exploring solutions that address safety and injury prevention in addition to time-tracking technologies that are helping contractors be more efficient
  • Artificial intelligence and digital technology — examining how this technology can be used for prospecting, assessments, virtual selling and jobsite monitoring
  • Software stacks — understanding how to get all the different software that your business is using to work together and talk to each other
  • Future of technology in roofing — discussing what it will look like 5 or 10 years from now

These discussions are led by roofing contractors who are currently using these solutions in their business with the goal of helping other contractors understand the technologies and how they can implement these solutions in their own businesses.