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Industry Calls for International Standards for Engineering Simulation ‘Skills’

NAFEMS’ Consultation Exercise Uncovers a Growing Need for Standardization

GLASGOW, UK, April 1 2009 – Over the past several months, NAFEMS has undertaken a consultation exercise on Engineering Skills Management. The objective of the consultation was to enable NAFEMS to understand more fully the current and desired processes for managing Engineering Simulation skills within industrial organisations that make considerable use of these technologies.

The consultation involved two whole day management forums (in the UK and Germany), discussions with NAFEMS regional steering committee members (from France, North America and Scandinavia) as well as numerous individual discussions. A number of participants were also asked to more formally prioritise some of the potential actions that NAFEMS could undertake. Representatives from major global companies across various industry sectors participated in these forums.

The discussions revealed that participants were generally content with the competence of their in-house experienced users and, in many cases, their experienced contractors. However the non-specialist users and contractors did not have their competency assessed to the same level, although a few organisations did have some strategies to address this issue.

NAFEMS further sought feedback on what skills were required in the area of engineering simulation. A list of skills was generated from these discussions. Virtually all of them were generic skills, i.e. not related to a specific application. These skills could be categorised into the following areas; technology; tools; process; and people skills. 

There is a clear desire from industry to have an international standard set of learning outcomes defined. NAFEMS is regarded as the right type of organisation to manage this activity. Also high in the list of priorities is the provision of information on third party courses which deliver the learning outcomes. In practice this will mean some form of accreditation of the courses provided by training providers.

NAFEMS CEO, Tim Morris, commented; “There is a clear need within industry for some internationally accepted standards in the evaluation of individual skills in Engineering Simulation. What this exercise has shown is that this is a common need across all industries, and in organisations of all sizes from global corporates to small enterprises.”

In response to the findings of the consultation process, NAFEMS will be producing a number of suggested “action plans” in order to address the needs highlighted by the participants. “NAFEMS role in the engineering analysis community is to listen to each and every company, institution and individual.” added Mr Morris. ”Thereafter, we must look at ways of addressing the most important needs within the community, and move forward towards implementing lasting solutions that will benefit every user in the long-term.”

A full summary report on the consultation exercise is now available to download from www.nafems.org/esm

About NAFEMS

NAFEMS is a not for profit organization aimed at promoting best practices and fostering education and awareness in the engineering analysis community. In line with its objectives to promote the effective use of simulation technologies, NAFEMS is continually seeking to create awareness of new analysis methodologies, deliver education & training, and stimulate the adoption of best practices and standards by offering a platform for continuous professional development. For more information, visit www.nafems.org .