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Partners now for over a decade, Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB Australia) and Bentley Systems are delighted to announce a new three-year partnership that will inspire, educate and empower the next generation of socio-technical professionals to make a positive impact on the world.

The centrepiece of the partnership is the EWB Innovation Challenge – an annual STEM outreach event that brings together high-school students and emerging engineers, to explore and showcase the opportunities possible in STEM careers and how engineering skills can contribute to positive community outcomes.

The outreach initiative was initiated in Victoria by the EWB Australia University of Melbourne Chapter and engages Year 9 and 10 students, primarily from backgrounds under-represented in STEM, in a series of hands-on socio-technical design challenges.

“We know how much of an impact this type of engagement can have on students, especially those who will soon be making decisions about their future vocation,” said Eleanor Loudon, EWB Australia CEO.

“Ongoing commitments are crucial to unlocking these opportunities for young people and scaling the program’s impact. We’re grateful to have Bentley Systems’ continued support, which will enable the Innovation Challenge to continue to inspire future engineers who work towards creating a sustainable, equitable world,” Eleanor added.

For more than 37 years Bentley Systems, an infrastructure engineering software company, has provided innovative applications to engineers and other professionals responsible for designing, constructing and operating sustainable infrastructure that is essential to the quality of life for everyone, everywhere. Bentley’s partnership with EWB Australia truly aligns with Bentley Education’s core values to help students from all backgrounds rise to the challenges of becoming a world-class talent to improve quality of life and support infrastructure growth and resilience worldwide. 

Katriona Lord-Levins, Chief Success Officer, Bentley Systems, said, “Our partnership with EWB Australia plays a very significant role, as together we empower students to create systematic change in society and give everyone access to engineering knowledge. Initiatives like the Innovation Challenge spark curiosity in young minds and encourage them to explore STEM subjects. It is very important to tackle misconceptions of engineering, and help them understand what real engineering is and what conscious engineers can do.” 

The 2022 Innovation Challenge will be the second delivered with Bentley Systems’ support. The new partnership will see the initiative reach more young people in the coming years, with the Innovation Challenge expanding into other Australian states in 2023 and 2024.

About the Innovation Challenge

The Innovation Challenge brings together Year 9 and 10 students for learning and collaboration through a series of design challenges, so that program participants leave with a broader perspective of engineering career paths and the humanitarian nature of the profession.

Participants are drawn from schools across the state with a focus on cohorts that are under-represented in the engineering sector; schools in regional and lower socio-economic areas, girls and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

In teams, students engage with a multifaceted engineering challenge which tests their ingenuity and provides a platform for exploring the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of engineering. Throughout the program students are given guidance and support from EWB-affiliated university engineering students, who act as socio-technical design mentors.

Having been delivered virtually due to pandemic restrictions in 2021, the 2022 years event will be hosted at the University of Melbourne campus. The event also provides opportunities for students to learn more about what a future in engineering could look like for them, with guest presentations and a panel discussion with industry professionals.

About Bentley Systems (Nasdaq: BSY): Bentley is an infrastructure engineering software company that provides innovative software to advance the world’s infrastructure – sustaining both the global economy and environment. Bentley’s  industry-leading software solutions are used by professionals, and organisations of every size, for the design, construction, and operations of roads and bridges, rail and transit, water and wastewater, public works and utilities, buildings and campuses, mining, and industrial facilities. These offerings include MicroStation-based applications for modeling and simulation, ProjectWise for project delivery, AssetWise for asset and network performance, Seequent’s leading geoprofessional software portfolio, and the iTwin platform for infrastructure digital twins. Bentley Systems employs more than 4,500 colleagues and generates annual revenues of approximately $1 billion in 186 countries. www.bentley.com

About EWB: Engineers Without Borders Australia was established in 2003 to create social value through engineering. EWB inspires a movement of engineers and the engineering community to be Technology Stewards and mobilises engineering to develop equitable, scalable and sustainable technology for all.  www.ewb.org.au