Dassault is on the forefront of a big change in the engineering world. Increasingly, the lines between mechanical and electrical engineering are blurring -- mechanical engineers need to handle the electrical side of the design and vice versa. Some universites are even starting to offer curricula called "electromechanical design." Never is that blurring of the lines more evident than in the design of big products -- aircraft, automobiles, ag machinery-- which have mountains of wires and microcontrollers, combined with multiple mechanical sub-systems. This will definitely address a growing need.
This sounds like an exciting, if possibly also confusing, time for engineers from both disciplines. What exactly is the type of integration/blurring that's requiring a more integrated approach and even the birth of a new electromechanical design discipline? What's a good example? And why is this happening now, instead of in the last decade?
Chuck is spot on with his assessment of the market. While there's always been a need for integration between mechanical and electrical, it's far more critical in today's world with today's products because so much more of the content of products constitutes a mix of disciplines. With time-to-market pressures and the influx of globally dispersed teams, things are even more complicated. Against this backdrop, if there is a design inconsistency or fit issue with one or more of these systems, it's imperative that it's caught early in the development--not afterfact, when the individual systems have already evolved.
Thank you Beth, this was a great article. I too am excited about the future of Dassault systems and what they are offering to solve our current and future engineering dilemmas.I agree also with the direction of the industry. I was in one of the first graduating classes of an "ElectroMechanical Degree" (ELME) from Wentworth in Boston Ma. in 2000.This is a 5 year degree program for a first in the country blend of a FULL Electrical Eng. Degree and FULL Mechanical Eng. Degree combined. I had put myself back through school in my 30's because my career was not moving in the direction I wanted and I felt this was the way to go.Now I work with SolidWorks EVERY DAY, at a GREAT job with fantastic people and love going to work every day.
@CDiamond: Congratulations on taking the bull by the horns in terms of personal advancement and career planning. Sounds like you were really in the ground floor with this kind of training. How are you putting these skills to use in your company in terms of the types of products you're designing? Do you think having both skills sets gives you any kind of edge in terms of understanding the complexities of today's products?
Looks like useful software for airplanes, busses and cars. I doubt it will ever be used for ATE fixtures or high speed signals. The EMI component of EM design is missing. I hope the designers are EMI aware for ingress, egress and crosstalk.
I recall a "one of" custom card cage backplane, I had wire-wrapped with 20 PCAs in the late 70's was assembled by an expert electronic assembler in the Aerospace Industry. She made it look neat and pretty with nylon tie-wraps. We were both dis-heartened when I found out the signals weren't so pretty. Crosstalk was huge and I had to make an executive decision and strip it and re-wire it with random vector interconnects instead of manifold-like bundles.
Thank you for asking, Yes, I feel it does.In my opinion it gives me a great insight and an overview to the products we make and allows me to more readily “think outside the box” as the saying goes; as well as foresee integration issues that others may not have seen until the two systems would be assembled, by then it would be very late in the design.It also allows me to bring in different sources from vastly disparate fields to come up with unique solutions to long running problems in my company.The problem I encountered when I first graduated was that no one knew how to make use of my new skill set.I am stronger in the Mechanical but fascinated by the Electrical.Interviews always wanted to either put me in the Electrical dept. or the Mechanical dept., but not for both, with the vivid definition that there was NO overlap of information or duties (kinda like a union job – can’t do that because it is outside our SCOPE).My current job is in the Microwave industry (even weaker for me than my straight electrical side, now in wave forms and performance). But, luckily my job heavily favors the mechanical side until I can study up and bring the other skills into focus.
This multi-disciplinary systems engineering approach to product development will definitely add value. This like the multiphysics simulation platform COMSOL www.comsol.com wll be a great tool in the product developer's arsenal. This is a true disruptive innvovation
Interesting that there is still such a divide within the companies, with people wanting to lump engineers into either the mechanical engineering bucket or the electrical engineering bucket. You would think with all the talk of systems engineering and with some of the high-profile product delays resulting from a lack of early-stage coordination among these functions that companies would get with the program and more fully appreciate your new skill set.
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