Flip Chart Summary-from group discussion around results

Advisory Board Meeting Interview Themes Flip Chart Summary October 30, 2008

This is the summary from the group discussions around the three results-themes presented to the AB during the October 30, 2008 meeting

Current Practices

Amplified Existing Themes

-        Need to understand connections

-        Need to understand business practices and environment and how to communicate

-        Understanding the effects of physical system-data-analysis-business (bottom line); also understand the dissemination of this to the appropriate units

-        Understanding social/environmental concepts - context of application in addition to business context (other social environmental consequences other than bottom line)

-        Teamwork encompasses more levels, methods of collaboration (e.g., electronic), interdisciplinary/inter-professional, external interactions (e.g., difficult people)

-        Being able to interpret multiple data sets maybe using different software systems then communicate that; ability to take computational results and relate it to an order of magnitude

-        Ability to challenge data (not take it at face value); understand source data - check

Gaps in Existing Themes

-        Need to understand engineering life cycle process ("cradle to grave") along with the management of it, strategy behind it, and costs associated with implementing the process

-        Understand IT at a level to see its limitations

-        Strong foundation so you can move from one specific application to another

-        Business and engineering principles

-        Using web search engines

-        Project management skills

Top Three Themes

-        Innovative thinking/problem solving/critical thinking/impact analysis (4)

-        Communication (4)

-        Collaboration/Teamwork (4)

-        Understand business practices (and environment)

-        Ability to learn (i.e., ability to learn, adapt, go)

-        Taking/using information from multiple data sources (2)

-        Technology to collaborate across disciplines and across/outside an organization

-        Ability to move between abstractions in software and physical systems 

Computational Aspects

Amplified Existing Themes

-        Emphasis on: ability to use, apply, and manipulate the computational tools/software to the right situation; ability to make a value  judgment on choosing the right application(s) for the right situation(s) - i.e., align needs with software capabilities (4)

o      Blind faith in computer tools (link to generational differences)

Gaps in Existing Themes

-        Web searching (facile at using web search engines and able judge quality of information found)

-        Other tools (and awareness of them)  -- industry specific/disciplinary

-        Design and process simulation

-        Open source

-        MRP/ERP (like SAP)  - Product Life Cycle (2)

-        Real time data processing for managing operations in real time and predictive modeling

-        Finite element analysis

-        Business management software - link engineering software to business management

-        Collaboration tools  (e.g., Internet, white boarding, webinars)

-        Statistical packages

Top Three Themes

-        Simulation and Modeling (Process & Product, 3-D etc) (3)

o      Modeling seems to go across disciplines

-        CAD/CAM/PLM

-         Excel/Open Source (for intermediate problem solving)

-        Tools for collaboration (data & people meetings) (2)

-        Office productivity tools  (e.g., Microsoft Office, e-mail, Internet, collaboration software) (2)

-        Task relationships/project management tools

-        Knowledge of programming 

Future of Engineering

Amplified Existing Themes

-        Separate research (could be more senior) versus development (could be more entry level, e.g., process to develop it) - exposure to research for the undergrad becoming more relevant - link to keeping innovation in the U.S.

o      New engineer will use computational tools to: create new products (that current engineers may not envision) and shorten time to market

Gaps in Existing Themes

-        Way to measure computer aptitude (develop some type of aptitude score coming out of college like a "CPACE Score") and performance factors

-        Personalization of products/services

-        High computational level - linking/moving data across applications

-        On-Demand, function-based - virtual supply chain

-        Data mining for analysis and new opportunity identification (2)

Top Three Themes

-        Design for environment (sustainability) - BIG issue and need for understanding it (3)

o      Higher integration of bio systems and engineering (e.g., biological/living systems versus static; neuro-networks)

-        R & D (3)

o      US wants to hold onto innovation, research, and development - using modeling to reduce time to market

-        Globalization (4)

o      Related to outsourcing/off-shoring (design, manufacturing more transportable)

-        Corporate and personal development

-        Computational high end

-        Increasing integration of engineering data across larger systems

Changes in Engineering Positions

-        More technology will be in place that individuals will need to be facile in learning, using and applying.

-        Skilled in integrative thinking - broad process thinking - life cycle thinking will only continue to increase

-        More focus on systems solutions

-        Virtual project management skills

-        Quality engineering skills  re-emerging

-        Adaptability skills - hard to see what's coming