I think the tools definitely make it possible, Rob, but I also think the realities of today's global marketplace institute the need for collaboration. It's rare today, no matter what industry, but particularly in aerospace and automotive, that companies are all co-located in a single site. Rather, it's far more common for different design disciplines and even engineers in the same discipline to be dispersed in sites around the globe. Couple that with outsourced design services and customers who are more actively partners in the design and you just can't avoid collaboration. It's definitely a challenge, however.
Nice story, Beth. I'm seeing more and more instances of collaboration on design and development, particularly in automotive and aerospace. I wonder whether it's a matter of reducing risk or simply that collaborative tools make it possible.
California State University, Chico was the first school in California to offer an ABET-accredited degree program in mechatronic engineering. Now its California Mechatronics Center works with industry on machinery, robotics, and surveillance vehicles.
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