Abou-Rahme named Bentley Systems Chief Research Officer

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Dr. Nabil Abou-Rahme

Bentley Systems, Inc. has appointed Dr. Nabil Abou-Rahme as Chief Research Officer for Bentley Institute’s Digital Advancement Academies, London. He will lead Bentley’s efforts in digital advancement research, collaborating with government, university, and industry “to promote innovative solutions for advancing infrastructure.” He was introduced April 10 to fellow researchers attending the Future Infrastructure Symposium at the Academies.

Abou-Rahme joins Bentley from global consultancy firm Mott MacDonald, where he was involved in digital transformation, most recently as head of smart infrastructure and global practice leader for data science, and prior to that, as divisional director for intelligent transport. His career began with applied research in network optimization and control at the Transport Research Laboratory, where he went on to manage research teams and complete a Ph.D. Among highlights from his consultancy roles are specifications for the EU ITS Directive, implementation of bank-led contactless payment systems on public transport in South Africa and operational regimes for the first “smart motorways” in the UK.

A chartered engineer, Dr. Abou-Rahme holds a Ph.D in Bayesian Statistics* from the University of Southampton, a Master of Science from University College London, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Imperial College London, and a general management certificate from Roffey Park.

“We are gratified to have Dr. Abou-Rahme join us to inaugurate our Chief Research Officer role,” said Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley. “We are newly able to advance infrastructure engineering through digital twins, by converging technologies to simultaneously meet their essential requirements for digital context, digital components, and digital chronology. Accordingly, an appropriate priority for Bentley Institute’s Digital Advancement Academies is now to work with authoritative research organizations to explore and substantiate the growing benefits, which are already realizable from infrastructure digital twins. By virtue of his unique combination of infrastructure engineering expertise and research experience, and contagious zeal for ‘going digital,’ Nabil brings the perfect fit to lead these collaborative endeavors.”

“Bentley has a clear commitment to accelerating the adoption of digital technologies, including advancing BIM (Building Information Modeling**) through digital twins,” said Abou-Rahme. “A key part of digital advancement research is a portfolio of demonstrator projects, collaborative prototypes that allow us to explore the art of the possible, while leveraging the best of academic, technical, and industrial experience within those teams. Our commitment also extends to supporting academic institutions through sponsorship and making our technologies available as a learning and development tool. Bentley’s open and collaborative approach to innovation is well established, and I am excited to be leading this portfolio into the next phase of application.”

In a talk at the Future Infrastructure Symposium, Abou-Rahme referenced a number of Bentley Institute-sponsored research projects around the world, including demonstrator projects at University College London, University of Cambridge, and Imperial College, and encouraged parties interested in collaborating on future demonstrator projects to contact him at [email protected].

Bentley Institute’s Digital Advancement Academies “offer a unique, neutral environment for innovators to openly discuss challenges and successes in the built environment, and to accelerate and optimize digital (BIM) strategy,” Bentley Systems noted. “Digital Advancement Academies partner with industry to act as a catalyst for knowledge exchange, using a process-focused approach to support execution of outcome-based objectives in the creation and operation of digital and physical assets.”

*Bayesian Statistics is a theory in the field of statistics based on the Bayesian interpretation of probability where probability expresses a degree of belief in an event, which can change as new information is gathered, rather than a fixed value based upon frequency or propensity. The degree of belief may be based on prior knowledge about the event, such as the results of previous experiments, or on personal beliefs about the event. This differs from a number of other interpretations of probability, such as the frequentist interpretation that views probability as the limit of the relative frequency of an event after a large number of trials. (Wikipedia)

*Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places. Building Information Models (BIMs) are files (often but not always in proprietary formats and containing proprietary data) that can be extracted, exchanged or networked to support decision-making regarding a building or other built asset. Current BIM software is used by individuals, businesses and government agencies who plan, design, construct, operate and maintain diverse physical infrastructures, such as water, refuse, electricity, gas, communication utilities, roads, railways, bridges, ports and tunnels. (Wikipedia).

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