Matt Overbey, PE, PLS serves in the roles of project engineer and project manager at CMT. Over the course of his career, Matt has built a versatile portfolio of projects and experiences that has allowed him to become a trusted resource for planning and designing large-scale roadway projects. In addition, he is passionate about model-based design and recently earned the Bentley OpenRoads Designer Premier Scholar Accreditation. Matt currently serves as President of the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Matt joined CMT in 2008 and is based in our Springfield, IL, office.
What is the Bentley OpenRoads Designer Premier Scholar Accreditation program, and what was the course experience like?
The program provides training and certification for advanced users of OpenRoads Designer, which is a 3-D design and infrastructure modeling application from Bentley. The application will allow for the design to be incorporated into the management of the full lifecycle in the future.
The Premier Scholar program begins with a three-day virtual training. My class included around 20 participants from across North America, representing firms of all sizes. During the training, we walked through industry updates, learned about advanced OpenRoads Designer tools, covered different means and methods to accomplish workflows, and worked collaboratively on case studies.
For the case study portion of the program, the class separated out into groups. Those small groups devised a solution from the case study prompt, created a presentation about the solution, and then reconvened and shared out with the class. This was a great opportunity to learn from industry peers as well as the instructors. With OpenRoads Designer, there’s not necessarily one right answer and there’s no one way to come to a conclusion. These exercises gave me a stronger understanding of the tools I have at my fingertips and how to bend and manipulate those tools to serve the needs of a project.
Following the three-day training, all program participants had about a month to work independently on a three-part capstone project. My capstone included challenges centered on advanced geometry concepts, process efficiencies, and a roll plot deliverable.
Finally, I presented my capstone project to a panel of three Bentley experts, who asked questions to evaluate my grasp of the tools, as well as my problem-solving mindset.
What motivated you to pursue the accreditation?
Working with OpenRoads Designer has become part of my day-to-day workflow, and I really enjoy it. I had a desire to be a leader in CMT’S transition to OpenRoads Designer, and when I learned about this accreditation, I knew it would help me work toward that goal of becoming a go-to OpenRoads Designer resource for clients as well as colleagues internally here at CMT.
How did the program challenge you?
One of the most challenging things for me was the open-endedness of the program and the level of freedom within the application itself. It can be frustrating to face a challenge and know that the pathways to a solution are nearly endless; I definitely spent some time second-guessing myself and had to do research to make sure I was on the right track in my efforts. Like many engineers, I prefer to deal with the straightforward and can find it difficult to operate within that grey area. But all told, the program helped me do so more confidently.
What were some of the key lessons you took from your training?
The possibilities of OpenRoads Designer are limitless if you’re creative and innovative in the ways that you bend the tools to meet the needs of a challenge.
In addition, another lesson I took away is the importance of community in the learning process. It was so rewarding to connect with fellow industry professionals, learn about the streamlined processes and tips they’ve picked up over time, and engage in conversations that challenged one another.
In summation: Keep learning, keep innovating, and keep building a network of fellow professionals to exchange knowledge with.
How has the knowledge you gained from the program empowered you to provide additional value to clients and their communities?
I’m excited to be able to improve efficiencies and create elevated, visually appealing complete designs that I can deliver to clients more efficiently.