Antler Australia

A numbers game: CalcTree is helping engineers reduce the risk of calculation errors 

- December 15, 2021 3 MIN READ
Onur Ekinci, co-founder and CEO of CalcTree (centre), with Mahan Lamei and Tim Rawling.
In the engineering world, everything comes down to numbers. If there are any mistakes throughout the planning and construction phase of a project, there can be huge financial and safety risks. 

For that reason, engineers, in particular, have to spend hours working through complex formulas and equations to make sure anything that gets built is nothing short of perfect. The downside is that these calculations absorb a huge amount of time and energy for most engineers. 

Founders of construction tech company, CalcTree, Onur Ekinci, Mahan Lamei and Tim Rawling, aim to help construction engineers avoid the problem of manual and slow calculations that are prone to human errors, with their innovative new platform.

CalcTree co-founder and CEO Ekinci says these errors can result in commercial construction companies losing millions of dollars when even minor mistakes occur. 

“As much as 60% of an engineer’s time is spent running calculations,” he says. “A big portion of that time is spent verifying and connecting calculations and ensuring data is synced up across a project. 

“This is a lot of human-based, non-value-add activity that we’re looking to do away with through CalcTree. 

“We want to enable engineers to do their best work by removing low-value activities and adding integrations that take calculations from concepts, to detailed designs and through to semi-automated processes.” 

Ekinci believes the current engineering workflow is both inefficient and dated. 

“A lot of the data in the engineering process is very fragmented and the various software platforms don’t speak to one another. That makes a lot of the engineers work very manual and there are less cloud-based options comparatively, which means the entire industry is missing out on the huge productivity gains,” he says. 

“CalcTree gives engineering teams more control over their calculations. It connects engineering designs and underlying calculations together. 

“At the moment, you have designs that occur in certain software and you need to run certain calculations to make sure those designs are valid and viable. Those are often separate activities and that’s where there is a real disconnect in the engineering workflow. You can’t afford human error to creep in during that workflow, but it happens. 

“Our platform integrates the different workflows and syncs critical project data together.” 

Ekinci says years of experience within the engineering industry made it clear to the co-founders that there was a need for a product like CalcTree. 

“The co-founding team felt the real need for this product, based on our own professional working lives. Mahan is a geotechnical engineer and Tim is a structural engineer and having worked at a top-tier engineering firm, we all felt there had to be a better way,” he says. 

“After interviewing over 130 engineers from top firms like Arup, Jacobs and Lendlease, there is clear validation of the need for a product like CalcTree.” 

Given the engineering industry is entrenched in current workflows, Ekinci says there were a number of challenges around educating engineers. 

“Engineers and the entire construction sector are very used to using tools that they’ve been comfortable with for decades,” he says.

“When wanting to innovate in this industry, we need to do things carefully and thoughtfully so that we can still meet the market and where engineers are at. We need to integrate with the tools that they know and love to bring them on the journey of change. 

“As such, there’s been a lot of thought that has gone into our product design to best work with our users.” 

CalcTree was built with and invested in by Antler and Ekinci says this has been instrumental in refining their business strategy. 

“Antler’s been great and they have really helped us sharpen our strategy and thinking. It’s helped us move towards becoming a worldwide company in the coming years. 

“They’ve been able to help us shave off the fat in our business model and make it really lean and robust.” 

Going forward, Ekinci hopes CalcTree will change the way the industry operates across the board. 

“We see ourselves offering a worldwide enterprise solution across all disciplines of engineering, from civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering,” he says. 

“Along our way providing a path for engineers to create more innovative, sustainable, modern designs.” 

  • StartupDaily is the official media partner of Antler in Australia.
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