FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Bradley E. Workman, vice president of global building and plant solutions for software firm Bentley Systems, Incorporated, has been named the Twenty-First Century Chair in Communications Technology in Construction at the University of Arkansas. In his new role Workman will assist school leaders and faculty to determine how the School of Architecture may best prepare students for integrated practice, a key trend that is revolutionizing building design and construction.
University leaders, including Chancellor John A. White, and School of Architecture faculty, staff and students will gather at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, for a ceremony and reception honoring Workman. The event will take place in the second-floor gallery of Vol Walker Hall.
“Integrated practice will bring architects, engineers, contractors, fabricators and building owners into collaboration early in a project, saving time, money and eliminating waste,” said Jeff Shannon, dean of the School of Architecture. “This new chair will allow us to educate and equip our students in the latest processes and technologies that are beginning to transform the building industry.”
“Leadership in innovation is what the Twenty-First Century chairs were created to bring to the University of Arkansas,” said Chancellor John A. White. “Brad Workman is uniquely qualified to provide leadership in this area, and we are delighted to have him return to his alma mater and join our team.”
An architect, software designer and global business executive, Workman has helped design, develop and pioneer building information modeling, a new digital design methodology that supports integrated practice.
Born and raised in Arkansas, Workman earned his bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Arkansas in 1978. He subsequently practiced architecture in Little Rock while pursuing a bachelor of science degree in computer science at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In 1983 he began training architects on the use of CAD software at Intergraph Corp. and has since devoted his career to software design and product line development. In 1994 Workman was among the first architects to join Bentley Systems, Incorporated, located in Exton, Pa. There he was instrumental in developing their software solution for building information modeling.
Workman is confident that college students can and should learn to use building information modeling software. “These kids have grown up with computers,” he said. “They have the ability to adapt these tools quickly and push them further than my generation.” Workman estimates that the University of Arkansas is among the first 10 percent of universities across the nation to address integrated practice.
“I will work to ensure the University of Arkansas is a leading institution when it comes to preparing our young professionals for this change in the industry,” he said.
Workman has taken a national role in building support for integrated practice, serving on the buildingSMART task force for the National Institute of Building Sciences, as a special adviser to the documents committee of the American Institute of Architects, and serving on the architecture and engineering productivity subcommittee of the Construction Users Round Table. Recently he has taken on a more strategic role for Bentley, overseeing integrated solutions for automotive, airport, oil and gas, mining and other industries. The job takes him all over the world, enabling Workman to make his home anywhere. He chose to return to Fayetteville.
“With the XNA airport nearby I can be anywhere I need to be for Bentley. All of my family is located in Arkansas, and of course there are the Razorbacks.” He went on to say with a grin, “I just received my football tickets yesterday, so I’m happy.”
Workman will divide his time between the University of Arkansas and Bentley Systems, Incorporated, which provides software for the lifecycle of the world’s infrastructure. The company’s comprehensive portfolio for the building, plant, civil and geospatial industries spans the design, construction and operations project phases. With revenues now surpassing $400 million annually, and more than 2400 colleagues globally, Bentley is the leading provider of architecture-engineering-construction software to the Engineering News-Record Top Design Firms and major owner-operators, and was named the world’s No. 2 provider of GIS/geospatial software solutions in a recent Daratech research study.
The chair was endowed during the University of Arkansas Campaign for the Twenty-First Century, which recorded $1.046 billion in gifts and pledges designated toward student and faculty endowments, academic programs, capital improvements and University Libraries when it concluded June 30, 2005.