AEROmetrex named among Be Inspired award winners

By on 7 November, 2016


The winners have been announced for the 2016 Be Inspired Awards, which is the only competition of its kind encompassing all types of infrastructure projects on a global scale.

Among the impressive list of winners were Australian aerial innovators AEROmetrex, who were honoured with the ‘Hero of the Year’ special recognition award for their 3D reality modelling work for the Papal visit to Philadelphia in 2015.


Bentley Systems chief marketing officer Carey Mann (left) awards David Byrne of AEROmetrex (right) the 2016 ‘Infrastructure Hero Award’.

The Be Inspired Awards were held last week as part of Bentley Systems’ annual Year in Infrastructure conference in London, where both reality modelling and Australian infrastructure innovation were among the many highlights.

Among the full list of Be Inspired winners were two other Australian-led projects honoured for innovation in both ‘Mining’ and ‘Water Network Analysis’:

  • ‘Innovation in Mining’: Tetra Tech Proteus – Tanami Expansion Project – (Tanami Desert, Northern Territory)
  • ‘Innovation in Water Network Analysis’: Roy Hill Iron Ore – Water Supply and Dewatering Network Optimisation – (Pilbara, Western Australia)

The ‘Hero of the Year’ award

The The ‘Hero of the Year’ award winning team from AEROmetrex are based out of Adelaide and were specifically honoured for their 3D reality modelling work on the Papal visit to Philadelphia, highlighted in the video below.

In 2015 Pope Francis gave an unprecedented address to 50,000 people from the podium of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in Philadelphia. In preparation, AEROmetrex performed 3D reality modelling from photographs to allow precise management all aspects of the event including crowd accommodation and seating, road closures, public transport and of course security.


AEROmetrex Technical Director, David Byrne, who last week attended the Be Inspired Awards in London to receive the ‘Hero of the Year’ award, was flown in for the Philadelphia project to oversee operations and perform surveys from the ground and by helicopter.

“We executed a detailed square mile capture, right around the Papal speech site, using aerial and ground photography,” Byrne said. “From there, we produced the 3D models and added the photographic fidelity and detail.”

The result was a fully textured and hyper-realistic, 3D image of the Philadelphia central precinct, which allowed the production to visualise, identify and monitor every vantage point within a square mile of the event.

City-scale 3D modelling

Another notable Be Inspired award winning project was The City of Helsinki, who were awarded the ‘Innovation in Reality Modelling’ category award. The winning ‘Helsinki 3D+’ modelling initiative is in the process of turning the Finish capital into a digital informed economy.


The City of Helsinki’s ‘Helsinki 3D+’ modelling initiative aims to generate a 3D representation of the entire city.

Based on enabling reality modelling software from Bentley Systems, specifically ContextCapture, Helsinki 3D+ is ­­­part of a EUR 1 million project to generate a 3D representation of the entire city. When completed, the model will be provided as open data to involve the public and to encourage commercial research and development, and perhaps serve as an example to city authorities the world over.

Both this project and AEROmetrex’s 3D work in Philadelphia heavily involve reality modelling as a core technology. Similarly, AEROmetrex are in the process of rolling out their Aero3DPro city modelling service across all of Australia’s capital cities. Such is the strength of this technology in recent times that Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley at the conference declared that reality modelling has this year ‘gone mainstream.’

“The achievements of our users—the architects, engineers, constructors, and operations professionals around the world—are exemplified by the extraordinary Be Inspired Award-winning projects we celebrated last night.” Bentley said of the Be Inspired awardees. “We are also very pleased to report that reality modelling is visibly going mainstream, as is evident from its proliferation across users’ projects and across Bentley’s software portfolio.”


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