The one-room schoolhouse of yore has morphed into a single cubicle or office. That's where many engineers go to school now to learn the details of new technology and how to use it. And they don't have to travel far: It's their own cubicles or offices that have become classrooms, as engineers go to vendor websites for training on-line.
Here are some offerings from individual software vendors:
ALGOR. The homepage for this developer of finite element analysis software offers several options for learning via the Internet. The first is a link to www.etechlearning.com, a separate website that has a list of courses offered by ALGOR on its own software. Other links take visitors to sections of the ALGOR website (www.algor.com) on Distance Learning for more Web-based courses. There is also a link to request private Web courses and demonstrations.
Alibre. This CAD developer has a Training channel that leads visitors to a list of local seminars, including Web-based seminars. The latter are on the fundamentals of various Alibre products such as Design Sketch, Design Assembly, and 2D drawings (www.alibre.com).
Dassault Systemes. CATIA Version 5 users can get Web-based instruction in different aspects of the software by clicking on Web-Based Learning Solutions on the homepage at www.3ds.com.
Mathworks. At this developer's website you can click on free live "webinars" for a schedule of training events on use of various Mathworks products such as MATLAB. In the Products and Services section of the website, you can get to an e-learning button, which, in turn, takes you to a list of courses. Each course is a half day, and the company sends course material ahead of time (www.mathworks.com).
PTC. At www.ptc.com there is a Training Services selection. Click on it and you'll find a link to course descriptions for the company's Web-based training in various elements of its Wildfire and Windchill products.
Other software companies offer a wide range of training at their own facilities or at facilities across the country. Here are two examples:
ANSYS. Click on Solutions at the top left of this simulation developer's newly designed homepage (www.ansys.com) and get a list of support services, including training. The company is planning a move to Web-based courses starting in the first quarter of this year. (ANSYS is a major supporter of university-based engineering education too and sponsors the College Design Engineering Award, administered by Design News, which recognizes college-student design engineering projects and awards a $20,000 cash prize split evenly between the winning team and the institution.)
MSC.Software. Here, you'll find a link to the MSC Institute of Technology, which, though not an online service, does list courses users can take in physical classrooms (www.mscsoftware.com).
Finally, Design News has its own Web-based educational program—the series of E2E online technical conferences. The next one is on materials and fastening and is scheduled for March 30.
The Internet is changing training as it is changing so much else, and the result is more convenience for the engineer.
Reach Teague at firstname.lastname@example.org.