In the BENCHMARK April 2019 Issue, you will find out about:
When we’re children, the concept of time can be, at best, sketchy. Summers feel endless, Christmas is an age away, and the weekend always takes too long to come. In some respects, that sense of time being elastic can stay with us in various forms as we grow up. That feeling we all occasionally have of last years holiday feeling like it only happened yesterday, while that meeting from last week being lost in the dark distant past. Maybe that says more about the type of meetings we have in the workplace, but it certainly owes something to our inbuilt sense of time passing.
Two years can seem like a long time, but in some senses, it’s no time at all. Yes, the biennial NAFEMS World Congress is here (yup, that’s where this is going). Moreover, it’s looking like the biggest yet. It feels like I’ve been saying that for years, but it’s true. This “world of engineering simulation” that we are all a part of genuinely keeps getting bigger, more involved, more intense and more exciting. It’s a pleasure to be involved in it, and to invite you to join us.
This year, we have over 330 presentations over the course of the Congress, which includes the 4th International SPDM Conference as well as symposia on Additive Manufacturing, Systems Modelling & Simulation, and all things “cloud” and “digital” (more on that later!). NAFEMS isn’t, by any means, the largest organisation in the world. However, the efforts made by staff members, volunteers and everyone involved, are significant and go a long way to making the Congress a thoroughly unique event. Plus, we’re all going for a sunset dinner-ship-cruise, so life is good.
This issue of benchmark, as well as covering some fascinating insight from our NWC19 keynotes on page 34, focusses primarily on all things “cloud” and “digital”. I joked during the production process that we are fast running out of credible stock imagery to illustrate these concepts, because we’ve covered it so extensively in the past few years, but I don’t think we’re alone in that. The hype (noun. extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion :) ) surrounding the various technologies is significant. And who can be surprised at that? It’s all game-changing. It’s all cutting edge. It’s all “of the moment”. But should it all be grouped together? “Digital” technology / engineering? Surely, as long as it’s not analogue, it’s digital? And if that’s the case, it ain’t new, buddy. I’ve got a c.1984 Casio calculator watch in a cupboard somewhere to prove it.
But that’s not the full story. Yes, the term itself has been basically turned into a meaningless bucket of terms by marketeers, but when you look under the hood, behind the hype if you will, we all know what we’re talking about in an engineering context. Colour me facetious, but it’s one of my best traits.
The technologies we’re talking about here are transformative. However, they’re transformative to different degrees, in different industries, at different paces. We shouldn’t just lump ‘em all together and produce a few glossy magazines, as much as my true marketing self would love to do that and to hell with the ‘budget’ (budgets are such arbitrary concepts anyway, wouldn’t you agree?). It’s hype. And the danger is that we all get caught up in it. That we go down the route of seeing every one of these changes as automatically beneficial because, well, it’s “digital”? Who doesn’t like a bit of “Digital”?
The point I’m making, I guess, is that we should be looking beyond the fluff (I might keep that phrase), which is what the last 5 issues of benchmark have been all about. Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts, instead of the high-level stock photography.
While we’re at it, I can’t see the acronym for the Internet of Things now without thinking of a particular blockbusting TV series with a similar set of initials. If you’re of a mind to find out how the current generation of smart wearable devices could have saved Khal Drogo and meant Daenerys still had her army behind her in season 1 (without having to go to the trouble of finding a new one), take a look at GoT vs. IoT nafe.ms/GOTvIOT
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