Bentley launches its education program to groom students as future infrastructure professionals

Sustained investment in infrastructure key to global economic recovery in the post-pandemic world.

In the post-pandemic world, improving quality of life while settling down with a new normal is a challenge. The pandemic has caused forbidding drops in employment and economic growth worldwide. A sustained investment in infrastructure is being considered a key driver in the global economic recovery. Many countries are committed to infrastructure growth as they expect an economic boost in medium- to long-term periods. In March 2021, the U.S. administration announced a $2 trillion package to transform America’s aging infrastructure. The President’s plan is supposed to fix and build roads, bridges, transit systems, upgrade water systems, electric grids, build energy-efficient and resilient housing and buildings to withstand climate changes, etc.

The pandemic is proving to be a perfect catalyst in accelerating infrastructure development across the globe. The biggest opportunity our cities have from this pandemic is to build back better systems, focusing on more climate-resilient and sustainable infrastructure.

The AEC and infrastructure companies are doing their bit in spreading industry awareness and providing tools to develop the skill sets required to conceptualize, design, and visualize an infrastructure project.

Bentley Systems is known for its education initiatives. In the latest effort, Bentley Systems has announced Bentley Education program that will provide full access to learning licenses of more than 40 Bentley’s most popular applications used by infrastructure professionals worldwide. The applications include ContextCapture, MicroStation, OpenRoads Designer, STAAD.Pro, and Synchro. Bentley products and services will be available to eligible students and educators for free for one year. However, students/educators will need to reconfirm their eligibility after one year to renew their license.

The Bentley Education program is currently available in the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, Ireland, and Lithuania. Bentley says the program will expand to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and India by mid-summer. The students/educators or institutes from other countries can navigate to STUDENTserver to use their unique school code provided by their faculty/institute lab administrator for a complimentary software download.

The Bentley Education portal aims to bridge the gaps in classroom teaching, innovative technology, and best practices learned from real-world projects. Bentley is also asking students from all over the world to come forward with their ideas that improve quality of life and submit those for Future Infrastructure Star Challenge 2021. With infrastructure going digital, the program will help students sharpen their digital design skills and enhance their chances to grab opportunities as AEC professionals.

In Bentley Systems’ Q1 2021 earnings call transcript, CEO Greg Bentley said, “The Bentley Education program will cost us most of our revenue from universities, but we have to factor that into our financial outlook for 2021 as one of the investments such as for SMB, generally, that will pay off in higher growth over the longer term.”

The company’s press release about the Bentley Education program follows:

Bentley Systems Announces New Bentley Education Program, Putting Students on the Path to Infrastructure Careers

Students and educators entitled to learning licenses at no cost!

Bentley Systems, Incorporated, (Nasdaq: BSY), the infrastructure engineering software company, today announced the Bentley Education program, which encourages the development of future infrastructure professionals for careers in engineering, design, and architecture. The Bentley Education program is initially available 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. The program’s student and educator entitlements allow no-cost learning licenses for Bentley infrastructure engineering applications and proven learnings through the new Bentley Education portal. Students and educators from around the globe can register on the Education portal and connect to infrastructure organizations and resources to prepare for and to recruit for infrastructure engineering careers. Bentley also announced the Future Infrastructure Star Challenge 2021.

The Bentley Education portal provides a single source for an on-demand, frictionless, and fun experience for students as they build and enhance their digital design skills. Students and educators have access to comprehensive resources, including:

  • insights from leading AEC professionals, sharing what the industry has to offer students and what skills are in high demand;
  • the latest news and emerging trends in architecture, engineering, and construction; and
  • the first-hand perspective of current engineering students, mentors, and women in infrastructure engineering.

The program offers full access to learning licenses of over 40 of Bentley’s most popular applications used by infrastructure professionals around the globe, including ContextCapture, MicroStation, OpenRoads Designer, STAAD.Pro, and SYNCHRO. The portal can be accessed here.

The Bentley Education program is open to students and educators at community colleges, technical institutes, polytechnics, universities, secondary schools, and homeschooled students. The program is designed to create world-class talent that can rise to the challenge of improving quality of life and positively changing the world using Bentley infrastructure engineering software, applications, and proven learnings. The Bentley Education program will also help students develop digital skills, which are critical for a qualified talent pipeline to support infrastructure growth and resilience worldwide.

The Bentley Education program uses a role-based learning approach, allowing future infrastructure professionals to focus on specific capabilities needed for specific professions. Students can go beyond mere product proficiency and develop a comprehensive understanding of skill sets required to excel in various roles in infrastructure engineering.

“With many nations and institutions committing to infrastructure and digital education initiatives as top priorities for a post-pandemic world, we are excited to launch this much-requested and responsive program now,” said Katriona Lord-Levins, chief success officer, Bentley Systems. “We want to inspire and encourage students to learn about infrastructure engineering as a possible career path, and to introduce these young minds to the vast opportunities that lie ahead, with infrastructure going digital.”

The Bentley Education portal also serves as a gateway for individual students or teams of two to submit their innovative concepts for Bentley’s Future Infrastructure Star Challenge 2021. The global competition is open to students from community colleges, polytechnics institutes, and universities. Students advancing in the Challenge, based on their ideas that improve quality of life, will work on modeling, simulation, and visualization to develop a design model. The winner of the Future Infrastructure Star Challenge will be announced during the Going Digital Awards at the Year in Infrastructure 2021 Conference.

The inaugural Future Infrastructure Star Challenge is divided into Stage 1 (Conceptualization), and Stage 2 (Design and Visualization). In Stage 1 (Conceptualization), students are invited to submit their ideas for “a next big infrastructure project” in any of the following categories: road and rail, building and facilities, water and wastewater, cities and mapping, and power generation. While conceptualizing their idea, students should focus on an environmental challenge that affects or is affected by infrastructure development, consider applying the Internet of Things, and emphasize the project’s contribution to the world’s health and welfare.

The top 20 judged projects from Stage 1 (Conceptualization) will each win USD 500, with the top 10 projects moving on to Stage 2 (Design and Visualization). Here, each such entry may take advantage of opportunities to work with infrastructure professionals, and/or to attend masterclasses with Bentley experts, to bring their ideas to life using Bentley applications. In addition to being announced and introduced at the Year in Infrastructure 2021 Conference, the winner of the Future Infrastructure Star Challenge 2021 will receive a cash prize of USD 5,000 and recognition in Bentley’s 2021 Infrastructure Yearbook.

Vinayak Trivedi, vice president of Bentley Education, said, “We want to make the Bentley Education portal the place where students can go to learn about and become inspired to make infrastructure engineering their career choice. The goal of the program is to help students who are passionate about infrastructure to get a jump-start on a fulfilling career. The Future Infrastructure Star Challenge 2021 provides an opportunity for them to be creative and innovative in project designs for improving the quality of life and positively changing the world.”

For more information on the Bentley Education program, including how to register students and educational organizations, visit