Good observation, Naperlou. PLM software, which is pretty well entrenched in a variety of industries--including automotive and A&D, among many others--is now taking a page from software engineering and looking to broaden out to requirements while at the same time integrating both hardware and software requirements in a shared platform. The idea is that a systems engineering approach isn't really possible if software, electrical, and mechanical systems data is maintained in separate systems. Siemens isn't alone in pursuing this level of integration. PTC and Dassault have also done a ton in this area with their PLM platforms and design suites.
Beth, you have written a lot of articles on this PLM area. Systems engineering has often been tied into software engineering as far as requirements are concerned. On the other hand, integrating hardware requirements has been harder. These PLM systems seem to be following the software world, where there is a two way link between implementation and requirements. This is very important, but it is often not done. It would be interesting to see how entensively these tools will be used in industry and in which industries.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
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