Next-Generation Factories Need Next-Generation Engineers

By Alyssa
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As manufacturers prioritize the search for new ways to eliminate waste and raise productivity, technology is a critical piece of the puzzle.  The Industrial Internet of Things, robotics and additive manufacturing – to name just a few – are increasingly vital to the success of both products and the bottom line.  Factories of the future – also known as Smart Factories or Industry 4.0 – are marked by humans and technology working together in a way that seamlessly combines the virtual and physical worlds.  But…are the humans in this equation up to the task?

Many experts argue that answer is not yet, and that engineering education needs a fresh approach in order to meet the skills demanded by this new environment.  Entirely new business models are emerging as the virtual world becomes more tightly integrated with the physical world.  The next generation of engineers must be taught in an interdisciplinary way, so that they understand not just their specific area of expertise, but how it fits into the other disciplines it takes to bring a product to market in the fastest and most effective way.  They also benefit from an approach that mimics that virtual collaboration and cross-cultural teams that are found in the working model of most organizations today.  If students are not educated in a way that considers the global, interdisciplinary teams that are a hallmark of the modern factory, they’ll have to learn on the job which drags down productivity.

Compass magazine recently explored these challenges in an article entitled, Factory of the Future.  Check it out to read about innovative programs being established at educational institutions around the world – specifically Germany, France, India and the US – in order to turn out next-generation engineers.  It takes a look at how more school programs are bringing in current manufacturing practitioners to learn more about what is needed in their businesses, and help design learning environments that can best prepare students for the high-level technical skills as well as the collaboration mindset needed to excel in today’s factory model.

Dassault Systèmes is proudly partnering with some of these institutions to help them train future engineers on the digital technologies and business processes that they’ll need to work in these future factories.  Check out a recent program with l’Université de Lorraine.

What do you think tomorrow’s engineers most need to learn before entering the workforce?  Are there some specific skills that should be taught that would benefit your organization or your country’s manufacturing goals?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Images © Ute Grabowsky /Getty Images) and ©iStock

Sharing Energy in the City: 2030

By Aurelien
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With the development of decentralized electricity and energy production, the sharing of energy between citizens, industries and public institutions will certainly reshape our relationship to energy in our everyday life. With this in mind, French electric utility company EDF decided to launch the prospective challenge “Sharing Energy in the City, 2030” in order to stimulate interdisciplinary innovations and to foster international opportunities dealing with this major and inspiring issue which affects us all.

Watch the video below to learn more about this initiative:

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If you are keen on the urbanization, energy and sustainability topics and working as a researcher or postgraduate student from a lab/school/university/incubator/cluster (or if you know someone in those fields), then this challenge is a fantastic opportunity to bring your project to life!  :D

6000€ in Prizes will be awarded to the most innovative and collaborative projects, but more importantly, a 6-month work placement, connection with key stakeholders and funding for your project from EDF are the real rewards of this Challenge.

All details regarding the expectations can be found on the dedicated website and Community “Sharing Energy in the City, 2030“. You can also tweet questions to @Challenge_2030. Don’t wait too long, the deadline for applications is March 31, 2014!

I.AM.3DEXPERIENCE and ready to TRANS4M!

By Aurelien
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For those of you who were with us in Las Vegas last november, you probably remember that we introduced a new partnership with will.i.am‘s i.am.angel foundation as part of our support for STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics). Enrique Legaspi, Chief of Staff, and Vincent Archer, Director Global Development, i.am.angel foundation, inspired us with their talk “Create, Curate and Share” on how the power tools of today (software, 3D printing…) can help the next generation touch the future.

Enrique Legaspi at 3DXforum

The I.AM.3DEXPERIENCE intiative is just about that: providing students from underserved communities with the right tools and education so that they can “write, code, imagine, dream and make”, as will.i.am rightly puts it:

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Given the feedback from the audience at this 3DEXPERIENCE Customer Forum, we figured out that you were as inspired and enthusiast as we’ve been  :-)

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So what’s next? On January 23rd the i.am.angel Foundation will host its annual TRANS4M benefit concert in Los Angeles, CA. This event, which will be broadcast live on the i.am.angel Foundation website, will publicly kick-off our collaboration. By then, you can support TRANS4M benefit: by donating to the foundation, or by tweeting with us on the #TRANS4M hashtag. And stay tuned!



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