“There are a million different solutions out there but how do we get the right solutions into the right hands of the right people?”

 My guest today is Tauhira Ali, who is the executive director of industry innovation at NECA, which acts as the voice of the $171 billion electrical construction industry in the US. 
 
Tauhira supports over 4,000 NECA member contractors to find innovative technologies to better the electrical construction industry, which brings power, light, and communication to buildings and communities across America. 

As a young child, Tauhira struggled with maths and science but that didn’t stop her from going on to achieve, not just one, but two engineering degrees, which have helped shape her career and fascination in robotics. 

“I loved machines, I was fascinated by how machines think – how you can, not just create something really complex and interesting mechanically, but elevate it to that next level through robotics, automation and artificial intelligence,” she explains. 

“Machines, robotics, AI allow us to be a lot more intelligent and a lot safer in gathering up information in physically doing the work, but we’re always going to need to have the mental experts…you’ll never be able to wipe out the power that comes from quick expertise, quick decision making.”  

We talk more about the man versus robot argument as well as: 

  • Gender and diversity inequalities in the technology sphere
  • The biggest challenges facing the construction industry today and how to solve them
  • How best to start a career in construction, particularly as a woman 

You can email Tauhira at tauhira@necanet.org and you can keep up to date with news from NECA by following @necanet on Twitter