Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers20 May, 2021 By: Lara Sheridan
Bentley Systems recently introduced its new Bentley Education Program, a sweeping educational program that encourages students to investigate engineering and infrastructure as a career, plus grants students no cost access to Bentley applications with specialized tutorials for each program. The Education Program is available globally with software download entitlement in the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, Ireland, and Lithuania with plans to expand to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and India by mid-summer; and hopefully, worldwide by the end of 2021.
Cadalyst met with Bentley Systems’ Chief Success Officer, SVP Katriona Lord-Levins, and Vice President of Bentley Education Vinayak Trivedi, recently to learn more about this new program, why the company spearheaded it, and how they hope to inspire a new generation of engineers from all walks of life.
When asked why the company chose now to introduce its educational program, Lord-Levins and Trivedi offered a variety of reasons, but the most important one is the reality that the industry as a whole is seeing a need for talent within the engineering career pipeline. With that as its underpinning, Bentley strives also to:
- address the industrywide problem of the increasing digital skill gaps and the widening disconnect between industry and academia;
- remove the barrier of technology adoption by making it easy for students and schools to use Bentley software at no cost;
- help students learn critical digital skills to support the talent pipeline and bolster infrastructure growth worldwide; and
- help students who are already interested in infrastructure get a jump-start on their career.
Bentley Systems wants to inspire and encourage students to think about infrastructure engineering as a career path and expose young minds to the vast field of the industry opportunities that are ahead of them. Bringing the technology to the students, so that they can get excited about engineering is key. Bentley is using social media, including YouTube to get in front of their audience, and is introducing the Future Infrastructure Star Challenge, a new competition that allows students to dig deeply into the software and potentially win cash prizes, plus spend time with top designers to help bring their designs to life.
Future Infrastructure Star Challenge 2021
The Future Infrastructure Star Challenge 2021 is open to students and will progress in stages. In Stage 1, students individually or as a team will develop a concept or an idea of how they would change the world with infrastructure, such as building a COVID hospital or a solution to global climate change. The top 20 teams will win USD $500 each. From there, the top 10 teams will move to stage 2, where they attend masterclasses with Bentley experts to bring their ideas to life on Bentley software. The top team will win USD $5,000. To learn more about Bentley’s Future Infrastructure Star Challenge, visit education.bentley.com/FISC.
Solving a Problem
You’ve heard that around the world our engineering workforce is aging and that there is a need for new engineers, designers, and builders. There’s concern that as that workforce retires, the 30+ years of background knowledge that current employees hold could be lost. For the continued growth of the industry and the continued safety of our infrastructure, we need new engineers and thinkers who are curious, inspired, and interested in solving real-world problems to consider the industry now and maintain that industry knowledge. Bentley’s Education Program is a forward-thinking solution to help solve this current issue and in turn also encourage a diversity of thought and experience coming into engineering and infrastructure.
Meet Students Where They Play
Think of all of the things you have touched today — your phone, toaster, coffee cup, TV, car, and then the roads you drove on. All of these objects were engineered by someone or a team. The more diverse your team, the better the ideas can come to fruition. For new products and fresh ideas to appeal to a diverse group of people, it makes sense to have a diverse group of designers, engineers, and builders, offering a diversity of thought.
The development of Bentley’s program comes at a critical point as the underrepresentation of minorities in the fields of engineering and technology continues to be of concern. In 2018, the UK government launched a year-long campaign to inspire the next generation to become interested in engineering. Coined the Year of Engineering, the UK government and industry joined forces to show students what engineering is and how exciting it can be.
The Bentley Education program will expose underrepresented groups to the possibilities of a career in fields such as architecture and engineering, thus diversifying the profession in the future. By increasing the awareness of students and educators about these industries as a career choice, the profession will only be strengthened further by such diversity and inclusion. In addition, the program will highlight success stories and outcomes, so that all students can see people like them being successful in engineering and, in turn, seeing themselves in these jobs.
Bentley's Education Program web site offers a variety of information designed to inspire future engineers by sharing experiences of recent graduates.
Opening the Doors for Gen Z & Gen Alpha
As a world-renowned infrastructure engineering software company, Bentley Systems holds an influential seat in the market, and it wants to use that influence for good. Bentley’s Education Program will open doors to students and schools, inspiring the next generation to look at infrastructure and engineering as an exciting and, even more important, an accessible career. As we look at the digital world in which we now exist, it is even more important to have new ideas and inspired thinkers who are helping to drive innovation to the next level. If Boomers and Gen-Xers can bring us to where we are today with engineering feats, imagine where this next tech-driven generation can take us.
Learn More and Sign Up!
Find out more at Bentley Education Program. The portal provides a single source for an on-demand, frictionless, and fun experience for students as they build and enhance their digital design skills. Resources include insights from AEC professionals sharing details about the industry and what skills are in demand, the latest news and trends in AEC, and more insight from current engineering students, mentors, and women in engineering.