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Wed May 22 2019

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Bentley buys UK geotechnical data firm

15 May US-based software company Bentley Systems has bought a British firm that provides systems for capturing, modelling and sharing geotechnical data.

Keynetix’s cloud-based geotechnical knowledge management system is already used to capture and manage underground environment information for Bentley’s geotechnical analysis applications, Plaxis and SoilVision; it supplements borehole reports managed by Bentley software.

Bentley sees the addition of Keynetix’s cloud-based software as expanding Bentley’s geotechnical offerings and accelerates its vision of enabling the creation of subsurface ‘digital twins’ of infrastructure projects and assets. The creation and curation of subsurface digital twins involves modelling the underground environment - geology, hydrology, chemistry, and engineering properties, and the underground infrastructure - and utility networks, structures, and tunnels – and then analysing and simulating the subsurface behaviour.

Roger Chandler, managing director of Keynetix, said: “Today's announcement provides our team, customers, and partners with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to advance digital engineering in the geotechnical industry. At Keynetix, our mission has always been to make geotechnical data more broadly accessible and valuable. Today’s announcement will truly open up geotechnical data collaboration across Bentley, Autodesk, and other platforms.”

Mark Bevan, associate director, ground investigation data systems for UK-based Structural Soils, a member of the RSK Group, said that Bentley and Keynetix software platforms are core, business-critical tools within its ground investigation (GI) businesses. He described the acquisition of Keynetix’s software into the Bentley portfolio as an exciting landmark moment within the GI digital landscape. “The rapidly growing Bentley geotechnical platform is helping to maximize the potential positives of the digital shift we are experiencing within the GI workplace,” he said. “Ground investigation is truly going digital.”

Bob Mankowski, vice president and business unit executive of digital cities for Bentley Systems, said: “Infrastructure professionals know that the geologic, hydrologic, chemical and engineering properties of a potential project site, and the infrastructure assets buried beneath the soil, roads, and other structures represent some of the greatest risks to infrastructure project safety, budgets, and schedules. Having a subsurface digital twin – a 3D representation of the subsurface coupled with models to analyse and simulate behaviuor – will be immensely valuable in all phases of the asset lifecycle.” He said that the Keynetix team and technology bring decades of experience and cutting-edge cloud services to Bentley’s already strong geotechnical portfolio and will accelerate the progress of Bentley’s vision for subsurface digital twins.

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