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.
You'll also be able to follow race updates with the team via social media: @UMSolarCarTeam, Facebook, and Flickr.
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.