The most creative engineers in the world are in the U.S., and all the breakthroughs in new technology come from here.
Wrong, of course.
Certainly, U. S. engineers are among the first to take a chance with new technology. Just ask software developers. They’ll tell you that most often it’s Americans who will try the latest CAD innovation first. 3D solid modeling software, for example, has taken off faster here than in Europe and Asia. Still, a closer look reveals some interesting insights:
CATIA, long one of the major CAD programs in the world and among the leaders in adding new functionality, is developed in France by Dassault Systemes, a subsidiary of IBM.
Open CASCADE, the recently commercialized software architecture of Matra Datavision, is also a product of French origin.
Frammasoft, another innovative software package, is based in France.
OneSpace, one of the pioneering web-enabled engineering collaboration tools, originated in CoCreate’s German offices.
SYSNOISE, among the leading finite element analysis programs for predicting vibroacoustics, is developed in Belgium for LMS.
FALANCS, another LMS software product for predicting durability and fatigue, is developed in Germany.
MICROCADAM, another important CAD package is developed in part in Japan.
And we haven’t even touched on some of the other important engineering technologies that originate outside the U.S. For example, such leading and innovative companies as Schneeberger, NTN Bearing, NSK, NMB, and SKF, among others, all have major product-line-development arms on other continents. And each one, like the software companies, is noted for the quality of its technology and technical support.
You’ll find many other examples of innovative engineering work in this special International Issue of Design News. It all points to one of the prime realities of design and manufacturing today:
Engineering genius is truly a global phenomenon—more now than ever before.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.