A Tribute to the Engineers of D-Day

By Suzanne

On May 28, PBS featured the documentary “D-Day’s Sunken Secrets” which includes and highlights work done by Dassault Systemes’ Passion for Innovation Institute. Earlier this month Dassault Systèmes, in association with WGBH Boston and the PBS science series NOVA recently hosted “A Tribute to the Engineering Minds of D-Day” at WGBH headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts not far from our headquarters in Waltham.  An audience of more than 200 dignitaries, veterans, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) leaders and educators attended the event to see and discuss key technological and engineering innovations  used during D-Day and the Invasion of Normandy. The innovations will be featured in the two-hour NOVA production in association with MC4, LCL, Dassault Systèmes and Canopee-CNDP.

As part of  this 70th anniversary of D-Day, Dassault Systèmes’ Passion for Innovation Institute embarked on an ambitious 3D reconstruction project to safeguard blueprints, notes and government documents capturing the remarkable engineering achievements of D-Day. To preserve this valuable moment in history,  Dassault Systèmes created scientific and accurate 3D models of the following  war innovations:

  • The Landing Craft, Vehicle & Personnel (LCVP) designed by American businessman Andrew Jackson Higgins which carried a platoon-sized CK complement of men and weapons to the beaches of Normandy.
  • The Waco CG-4A gliders relatively small, lightweight and maneuverable planes. These silent gliders landed troops in enemy territory during the early hours of the June 6 invasion.
  • The Mulberry Harbor one of the most extraordinary technological feats of WWII. An artificial harbor built in England, it was transported across the English Channel and assembled off the coast at Arromanches to unload the vast quantities of supplies and men that were needed for battle. The Mulberry Harbor was the first temporary deep water facility of its kind ever devised.

During the event the attendees got a “sneak peek” from producer Paula Apsell, Senior Executive Producer, NOVA & Director of the WGBH Science Unit, of highlights from the documentary showing how NOVA as it joins an elite team as they carry out the most extensive survey ever done of the seabed bordering the legendary D-Day beachheads of Normandy, revealing the ingenious technology that helped the Allies overcome the German defenses and ultimately liberate Europe from the Nazis.

Paul Apsell

After a welcome by Sara Larsen, VP North America  Marketing and Communications, the Dassault Systemes Passion for Innovation Team showed attendees a 3D presentation that brought to life through 3D reconstruction, the Mulberry Harbor.

Attendees at D-Day Event

As today, only pieces of the Harbor remain requiring the Dassault Systèmes team to compile what remained of the original plans from the Royal Engineers Museum in London, the construction and maintenance manuals, the aerial photographs taken at the time and additional information provided by Tim Beckett, the son of Mulberry Harbor designer Allan Beckett, himself a marine engineer. Mr. Beckett was a guest of the event and with Nicolas Serikoff of the Dassault Systemes Passion for innovation team narrated a trip through the accurate, scientific 3D reconstruction of the Harbor which enabled him to see and experience his father’s critical work.

Tim Beckett on the Mulberry Harbor

Following the video presentations Paula Apsell, hosted a lively Q&A with some key participants of the project:

  • Doug Hamilton, Director, NOVA’s “D-Day’s Sunken Secrets”
  • Mehdi Tayoubi, Passion for Innovation Institute Director & Experiential Strategy VP for Dassault Systèmes
  • Nicolas Serikoff, D-Day Project Manager, Passion for Innovation Institute, Dassault Systèmes
  • Tim Beckett, Director, Beckett Rankine Marine Engineers & Son of Major Allan Beckett of Britain’s WWII Engineers
  • Sylvain Pascaud, D-Day Expedition Leader

Panel at D-Day event

The audience was thoroughly engaged and if not for the refreshments ready to be served would have gone on for at least another half hour.

During the cocktail reception the attendees were able to get hands on experience with the 3D technology including the recreations of the Mulberry Harbor, Waco Glider and the Higgins LCVB. In its commitment to STEM education a number of attendees were invited to bring their middle and high school children to the event.

Using Z-Space at D-Day Event

D-Day event father daughter

While the technology was engaging even more engaging were the veterans of World War II who were there on D-Day who were invited to attend the event. These veterans were given the “Legion of Honor” award by the French Government, the highest military decoration in France:

  • Mr. Isadore Cutler
  • Mr. Edward Estey
  • Mr. Robert Haley
  • Mr. Richard Pinardi
  • Mr. William Poulios
  • Mr. Harvey Segal
  • Mr. S. Eliot Sklar

Attendees at D-Day Event

Several of the veterans posed with the team from Dassault  Systemes including from left Sara Larsen, Nicolas Serikoff, Marie-Pierre Aulas and Mehdi Tayoubi.

You can see more of the recreations and the project at the Dassault Systemes’ D-Day site.

 

I.AM.3DEXPERIENCE and ready to TRANS4M!

By Aurelien

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!

Leaving Las Vegas – But Not After Getting It Started In Here

By Elena

“I’m Leaving Las Vegas…
…Lights so bright”

Sheryl Crow, “Leaving Las Vegas”

While we led with an Elvis Presley theme yesterday, today, as we launch our second and final day of the event, we look to Sheryl Crow’s theme of “Leaving Las Vegas” as we will soon all be leaving Vegas behind, but not without having shown more than hundreds of attendees our incredible commitment to education – and its strong connection to America’s future.

Bruno Latchague, Managing Director for North America, kicked off day 2 of the Dassault Systèmes’ North American 3DEXPERIENCE Customer Forum to close the Vegas adventure off with a win. He opened the session by asking a (likely) sleepy crowd, “Are you awake?” – and then talked about what everyone in attendance can do to help prepare the next generation of innovators.

From celebrities such as will.i.am to our own local heroes in Massachusetts running the TADS (Teachers at Dassault Systèmes) program, the morning session turned into both a celebration and a call to action for promotion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education.

Bruno Latchague and Al Bunshaft

The discussion segued perfectly into a presentation on the company’s dedication to STEM by Al Bunshaft, Dassault Systèmes Senior Vice President. The session, entitled “Skills for an American Resurgence,” perfectly echoed the themes throughout the day from executives and customers alike. Bunshaft challenged the audience to share what they’re doing—“what you are doing is so cool, and most kids don’t even know that”—as a responsibility for building the next generation of innovators.

Al Bunshaft

“It’s not about K-12; it’s about K-W, kindergarten through work,” said Bunshaft, adding that many students with STEM degrees don’t actually get STEM jobs. He also discussed 3DS’ efforts to go into underserved schools in Massachusetts to help revitalize their science program, as well as the company’s TADS, in which the company brings teachers into the company for the summer as paid interns. It was tested in Waltham and has since expanded to Providence and Detroit. “Most of them are educators … but they’ve never worked in a company. We need all of our employees, not just our programmers, to be STEM literate.”

Then things “got started, got started in here,” with entertainer will.i.am, whose i.am.angel foundation was represented by Chief of Staff Enrique Legaspi and Vincent Archer, Executive Director. Legaspi talked passionately about his early days as a teacher in Los Angeles, about his group’s amazing work in his neighborhood of Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, and the group’s i.am.college track.  “The future of education is project-based learning – give them a problem to tackle.”

Enrique Legaspi of the i.am.angel foundation

“It does wonders for a kid who’s never met an engineer to ask, what does it take to be an engineer?” added Archer.  “Let’s change Detroit. Let’s change Chicago. Let’s go to Oakland. There’s a lot of places where kids are forgotten—let’s not forget them.”

Legaspi and Archer were a tough act to follow – but Ed Shadle, the owner, driver and project manager of North American Eagle, was up to the task, talking about team member Jessi Combs becoming the fastest woman on four wheels, as well as his group’s STEM efforts to create the next generation of engineers to build devices that will hit speeds beyond our wildest dreams.

Ed Shadle of North American Eagle

Partner and event sponsor Microsoft had Simon Floyd, its director of Innovation and PLM Solutions, discuss how his company and 3DS are “innovating together” and demonstrated 3DS software on his company’s Surface tablet.

Simon Floyd of Microsoft demos 3DS software on the Surface

To close the plenary, Latchague invited President and CEO Bernard Charlès for an impromptu visit to the stage for a brief, surprise wrap-up and he thanked the participants with a quick, off the cuff farewell.

Bernard Charlès

Once again, the afternoon was spent with a series of five industry-focused breakouts featuring numerous customers discussing the business value of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform to their companies.

For everyone who is “Leaving Las Vegas,” thanks for coming! We hope to see you again next year. Safe travels!

To follow the event on Twitter, search for hashtag #3DXforum and our dedicated 3DXforum live dashboard, which provide an excellent compendium of the event from those who attended.



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