The US engineering and manufacturing industry is in the midst of a renaissance, with STEM education serving as one of the keys to continuing the resurgence and ensuring its sustainability over several generations. Through our Global Opportunities in PLM (GO PLM) program, Siemens PLM Software provides software for students and schools around the world. Just last week, we announced a very large in-kind software grant to the University of Maryland so students and researchers can use advanced technology in and out of the classroom. We also find the manufacturing renaissance is not limited to traditional students. Earlier this year, we announced a free job-training program for veterans to equip them with the advanced technology skills needed in the workforce today and in the near future.
One exciting project that is getting ready to kick off next month in Australia is the World Solar Challenge. (See: Engineers Eye the Prize in Solar Car Road Challenge.) Student teams compete to see who has designed, manufactured, and raced the most efficient electric vehicle. They must successfully navigate quarantine, customs, scrutineering, safety inspections, and event briefings in between meals of kangaroo burgers and Fosters to then race across the continent.
Siemens PLM Software is proud to sponsor the University of Michigan solar car team, an entirely student-run organization that designed its new Generation car in NX software. (Watch a time-lapse video below of the team building the car.)
Beginning tomorrow, and over the next month, Pavan Naik, the team's senior business development manager, is going to share updates with Design News from Down Under, talking about the team's efforts before, during, and after the race.
If you're a student engineer, I encourage you to get involved in a real-world competition like the World Solar Challenge or similar initiatives like EcoCAR 2 or Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE). If you're a manufacturer, I'm letting you know where you can find your next generation of employees. Wouldn't you want to hire people with this kind of experience?
Good luck to the team. Go Blue.
Bill Boswell is senior director of partner strategy for Siemens PLM Software.
@Laura: I am in Naperville, IL. The school districts in the Western and Northern suburbs have some outstanding schools. Of course, the City of Chicago has some of the worst. The cost per pupil in the suburbs is generally $3K to $5K less per pupil in the suburbs. Oh, and we have some of the best physical facilities in the area, if not in the country.
I have participated a little in a group call Technical and Engineering Education (TEE) which is an advisory board. My wife has participated in career days (she is a Mechanical Engineer, and PE who works at a civil engineering firm). It is really interesting to see what the students do with projects and competitions.
I agree that it's great to see efforts to get people involved in STEM at as early an age as possible. I think companies have a great opportunity to help inspire the next generation of engineers and designers through efforts like this. And thanks for including a link to my story about the World Solar Car Challenge, which in and of itself is a great competition to promote design and renewable-energy innovation.
I completely agree with you that students need to apply their knowledge in the toolset they'll use after graduating. That's why our customers support us in expanding our academic support. Good luck with your MS degree. Thanks again for commenting and reading my post.
Bill, it is impresive to see what Siemens is doing to promote STEM education. I have found that many students in engineering schools do not have access to real industrial grade software. The next step is to move that down to High School level. Our local schools have a tremendous STEM program. A number of local school districts are getting together to develop a STEM teacher training facility at a local community college. Much of the funding is coming from industry. They have also bought a high end 3D printer for use by the STEM program in the district.
It is critically important that students learn to use the tools that they will be using in their future jobs. I am doing a MS in Applied Statistics (it's a long story) and we use the major packages, with licenses provided by the school, in all classes. Frankly, with the size of datasets we use in class we could do most, if not all of it, in Excel (and sometime do). Even though we study the theory extensively, we do acutal analysis in packages (like SAS, SPSS or R) and tie the theory back to what is provided by the packages. Something similar is required in other STEM fields if graduates are to be able to be productive early.
In an age of globalization and rapid changes through scientific progress, two of our societies' (and economies') main concerns are to satisfy the needs and wishes of the individual and to save precious resources. Cloud computing caters to both of these.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.