Over several months in 2008-2009, 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 inhouse experienced users and, in many cases, their experienced contractors. However, the nonspecialist 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 sought further 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.
A full summary report on the consultation exercise is now available to download here.