Bentley Systems, which provides software to advance global infrastructure, also invests in the future generation of infrastructure professionals through its Bentley Education program, providing free education licenses of its popular applications as well as other initiatives and learning opportunities. The iTwin4Good Challenge is one example of how Bentley is using thought-provoking contests, challenges, and hackathons to put cutting-edge technology into the hands of future AEC professionals.
Organized in partnership with international nonprofit organization Enactus, the iTwin4Good Challenge saw university students in the UK combine creativity and software development abilities with their passion for environmental and social action to create infrastructure digital twins that addressed a particular need within their local community. The contest involved 44 students from 18 universities competing to address UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, and climate action, using the Bentley iTwin Platform.
The winner of the 2023 Bentley iTwin4Good challenge was recently announced at the Enactus Nation Expo at the ExCel London. This honor was given to The Rubbish Group from Loughborough University.
The Rubbish Group aimed to reduce littering around Loughborough University’s campus by enabling students to report where litter has been dropped using an interactive mobile app. The app is paired with a digital twin of the campus, allowing litter reports to be mapped to their specific location. The concentration of reports will be logged using a heat map feature that will show the university site team where more litter bins are needed. Over time, an accurate representation of the campus, and where the most litter is dropped, will be provided. The application addressed three main sustainable development goals: good health and well-being, sustainable cities and communities, and climate action.
Ivan Gasparetto, director of software development with Bentley Systems, presents Georgina Lewis with the first-place award in the iTiwn4Good Challenge. (Source: Alex Wilkinson Media)
Runner-up is Peaky Ducks from the Universities of Southampton, Hertfordshire, Greenwich, and Hull. The Peaky Ducks aimed to create a smart heating sensor and integrate it into the Bentley iTwin Platform. The project would reduce energy consumption by optimizing heating systems using smart sensors and machine learning algorithms to analyze temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors. The goal of the project is to develop efficient and cost-effective heating systems while reducing energy consumption and ultimately lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
Ivan Gasparetto, director of software development with Bentley Systems, presents David Oriazowan from the University of Hull with the second-place award in the iTwin4Good Challenge. (Source: Alex Wilkinson Media)
Zeljko Djuretic, head of Bentley Education, said, “We want university students to learn more about the infrastructure engineering solutions of the future while solving issues that affect the planet today. Not only have these students shown incredible creativity, but they have also produced genuine solutions that could have a real impact on meeting sustainable development goals. What’s more, by producing their own infrastructure digital twins, these students will have a real advantage when they enter the engineering workforce.”
Bentley Education programs are designed to help students discover a career in infrastructure and bridge the digital skills gap for organizations. According to Katriona Lord-Levins, chief success officer, Bentley Systems, among engineering businesses in the UK, 49% are currently experiencing difficulties recruiting workers with the skills they need, contributing to an annual shortfall of GBP 1.5 billion to the UK’s economy. Bentley is addressing this issue by building a talent pipeline that gives students the skills and experiences they need for future careers in building the world’s infrastructure.