Change Leader: The Power of Education to Change Lives
These profiles are based on interviews, and the opinions and statements are those of the subject and are not necessarily shared or endorsed by this publication.
This particular webcam interview was recorded by Todd Danielson, the editorial director of Informed Infrastructure. You can view a video of the full interview in the window at the top of this page.
Education, in all its forms, may be the most-important factor in the success of individuals, as well as humanity as a whole. It can make the world a better place and allow people to overcome obstacles to achieve the success and happiness they desire in life.
It is this basic belief in the power of education that has been the “North Star” for Vinayak Trivedi and the education programs within Bentley Systems.
“To bolster the infrastructure industry, we want future generations to be aware about not only just engineering generally, but the complete lifecycle of infrastructure from conception to design to build to operate, maintain and recycle,” explains Trivedi.
Bridging the Talent Gap
Bentley has long understood the need to connect to students and the younger generations, originally with its Bentley Institute, now renamed and reformed as Bentley Education. Trivedi sees a widening digital skill gap between academia and the AEC industry, and he believes Bentley Education (education.bentley.com) will help narrow that gap. He also sees the initiative as a talent pipeline for Bentley, as well as its users and partners.
“But the students of this generation, they are very ambitious,” he adds. “They are not only looking for a job, but they’re looking for a career where they can make an impact in the quality of life—they can do something meaningful.”
For those who have already decided on a future in engineering, he believes Bentley Education can help them pursue their professional goals. For undecided students, he hopes the program will inspire them to explore infrastructure engineering as a career.
Making It Fun
Bentley recently introduced the Future Infrastructure Star Challenge 2021, a competition in which student teams participate, and winners will be recognized and awarded. The contest is divided in two stages. The first stage is the conceptualization phase of the competition, where it’s just an idea that they think could solve some environmental problem using the latest technologies. The second stage takes the top 10 of these student groups and allows them to apply Bentley solutions toward solving the problem, working with experts and mentors to come up with a digital model. The overall winner of the Future Infrastructure Star Challenge will be felicitated during Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure and Going Digital Awards celebrations on Dec. 1-2, 2021.
Trivedi believes contests and “gamification” are key to attracting the “best and brightest” students available, especially women and underrepresented minorities.
“We say that our program is an extension of their playground,” he explains. “The things they get to explore and try are through fun quizzes, challenges, a bit of following the latest trends and industry insights, and so forth. And this particular challenge is one of them.”
A Success Story with Millions More Hoped For
Trivedi shares the story of one young woman who was determined to pursue the medical profession, following in her parents’ footsteps. But after exposure to an engineering course, she participated in one of the challenges sponsored by Class of Your Own, a Bentley partner.
“She ended up pursuing the engineering profession,” he adds. “Isn’t that fantastic? Sharing those kind of success stories and making them believe they can do it.”
Trivedi’s personal goal is to scale up the program and reach out to 1 million students this year, hoping to reach several millions more in the coming years.
“And along the way, as the students come to our portal and enjoy all of this, they are building their resume in a way which they can share with potential employers,” he adds. “Do I think that it makes a real difference? I say yes, I think it will.”