Meet the Team Building a Visual Future

March 13, 2024


At Caterpillar, we do work that matters. Our team’s expertise spans many functions, from engineering to manufacturing to accounting, legal and human resources.

At the Black Hills Engineering Design Center (BHEDC) in Rapid City, South Dakota, a team with a particularly unique set of skills are at work – in areas including artistry and design, visual effects, virtual reality, motion graphics, computer science and more.

BHEDC is home to Caterpillar’s Visualization Center of Excellence (COE) where a team of artists, engineers, designers, gamers and programmers provide a host of valued engineering and graphic services to develop state-of-the-art animations, 3D renders and virtual reality (VR) solutions for Caterpillar, our dealers and customers.

To create these visuals, the team uses computer aided design (CAD) models and works hand in hand with engineers to ensure accuracy and standardize them. Colors, textures, materials, lighting, and shadows are added to amplify the realism and align to brand look and feel. The visual, sensory-rich experience you have when you put on a VR headset displays the true value that is built from the ground up by the Cat Visual team.


Hydraulic mining shovel loading a mining truck
Image of an excavator with portions of the image displayed as design files

Meet the Team of Innovators Leading the Way to Caterpillar's Visual Future

Lars Slentz standing in front of a lineup of excavators



Lars Slentz, an application development expert and team lead who says coding is his superpower. Lars leads a team of VR developers and says the field requires strong critical thinking skills and the ability to discern patterns in coding. 

“I like the innovation of it, thinking of new ways to solve a problem in the virtual space,” he said. “Facilitating the interaction between what is going on in the computer, and the person on the other side of the computer, is pretty amazing.”




Cesia Viera, a 3D technologist and the lead animator. Cesia, originally from Dallas, Texas, has a background in media arts and creates graphics used in animations, commercials and other media.

"My team specializes in animated techniques to guide the eye; to lead the viewer to the point as quickly and efficiently as possible without unnecessary fluff, which can be distracting."

Cesia Viera standing in front of a lineup of excavators, pointing at the boom
Al Bullock standing in front of a lineup of excavators


Al Bullock, Al came to Caterpillar with a background in fashion design. He had lived in New York and London and was involved in fashion shows featuring designers from all over the world. When his hobby of playing video games morphed into a bit of an obsession about how the games were created, he pivoted to attend Full Sail University and earn a degree in graphic design and 3D.

Now, he uses his technical skills and his arts background to create realistic 3D assets such as dirt, smoke, lighting, rocks, snow, and other elements of virtual reality environments.

“We get to work on some very cool projects, tough projects, and we get to iterate as a team,” he said. “Seeing the final product and seeing our customer happy with the results, is very rewarding.”


Are you ready to be a part of something bigger? Check out our open roles.