The University’s Role in Addressing the Skills Gap and Preparing Individuals for CAE: Continuous Learning and Workforce Development

This presentation was made at CAASE18, The Conference on Advancing Analysis & Simulation in Engineering. CAASE18 brought together the leading visionaries, developers, and practitioners of CAE-related technologies in an open forum, to share experiences, discuss relevant trends, discover common themes, and explore future issues.

Resource Abstract

In a global and fast paced economy, the movement towards an increasingly virtual development flow is driving a need for engineers who can implement computational tools effectively in order to drive down cost and development time while developing successful products. Currently, this need is largely being met by engineers who are specialists in their area of CAE (Computer Aided Engineering), but engineers who are not specialists must also gain competencies in these tools in order to adequately meet the needs of a virtual development flow.
In the United States, engineers typically enter the workforce after earning an undergraduate degree, but it is recognized that an undergraduate education cannot cover the full spectrum of topics resulting in gaps in critical knowledge and skills. CAE at the undergraduate level is typically presented as a senior technical elective or possibly integrated into a Capstone project. Although a good first step, competency with any tool requires more exposure than an introduction and requires the opportunity to practice use of the tool in the context of projects and specific problem solving opportunities.
Universities and industry have partnered in the past to facilitate continuing graduate education for engineers. Barriers such as cost, time, and transportation limit the number of workers that can participate in these programs to a select few. Presenting CAE in a certificate format allows universities to blend academic and practical considerations for CAE in a targeted and compact format specifically designed for the working professional. The level of commitment for these engineers is considerably more manageable than pursuing a full graduate degree, and the skills can be immediately applied into the workflow. This will strengthen university-industry partnerships by connecting faculty to industry partners, thereby promoting collaboration.
This presentation will propose a certificate program concept for various engineering areas focusing on computational tools use such FEA, CFD, and systems control modelling. The program will be offered in a distance education format to reduce travel, time, and cost barriers for busy working engineers. Participants will be supported by university research staff who will be available to provide feedback and assessment of performance, and course material will be developed in a collaborative manner between research staff and faculty. The learning outcomes for this program will be for participants to gain experience in CAE tool use and application as well as to gain a fundamental understating of the theoretical concepts guiding the use of these tools. Since this program will be designed with the needs of the working engineer in mind, it can effectively address the skills gap currently being experienced and projected to continue to grow in the area of computer aided engineering.

Document Details

AuthorNutwell. E
Date 7th June 2018
OrganisationThe Ohio State University


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