August 1, 2019
It has been noted and quoted that the only constant in life (or engineering) is change. Design engineering teams are certainly familiar with this notion. From engineering change orders to change management processes that deal with digital disruption and transformation, change is often associated with a short-term loss and a long-term gain.
However, the long-term gains are never guaranteed. The future is fuzzy and—though you do your research and plan accordingly—determining when to take the leap often comes down to an imprecise “gut feeling.” When it comes to discovering and implementing new engineering technologies, I hope Digital Engineering is part of that research. Whether it’s the extended reality we focus on in this issue, a product lifecycle management upgrade or an additive manufacturing initiative, we strive not to just show you the latest technologies, services and processes, but give you insights on how they could affect design engineering in the long run.
DE has been faithful to its mission for almost 25 years now, and I have been privileged to be part of it for more than a decade. I’ve witnessed many changes in my tenure: cloud computing for engineering applications was scoffed at by some people we interviewed back then; the possibility of 3D printing metal parts at scale seemed like a fantasy and the democratization of simulation received the “nice idea, but it’ll never work” reception.
When it comes to engineering technology, I’ve always approached such pessimistic viewpoints with a “wait-and-see” attitude. After all, I’ve ridden in a self-driving car, sent an issue of the magazine to the printer featuring the Mars rover on the cover weeks before the lander survived its “seven seconds of terror,” and virtually poked my head into a combustion engine to take a look around. More importantly, I’ve met you—the design engineering community—and I know what you’re capable of doing. You’re a skeptical bunch when it comes to new technology, and often rightly so. But you’re fueled by challenges and are always looking for a better, faster, cheaper way to design and develop products that can make the world a better place.
Collaboration and Inspiration
This will be my last issue of DE. I’ve been blessed with a great work environment and great co-workers, but my gut tells me it’s time for a change. Eleven years is a long time, and I’m ready to take on a new challenge. I’ll remain in the industry, working with a software vendor on its publications, so I won’t be going too far afield.
What I’m not looking forward to is leaving my DE team. They are an extremely talented and hard-working crew. They’re always looking for a better way to provide the information you need, when and where you need it. You can see that in the DigitalEngineering247.com website we redesigned last year. We made it easier to find information, and it responds to whatever size screen you’re using. You also see it in the mobile-friendly digital editions and interactive special issues we produce, and in the webcasts, videos, magazines and research reports we create.
Focus on the Future
This fall, DE will launch its first virtual conference, continuing the momentum from our Conference on Advancing Analysis & Simulation in Engineering (CAASE) that we partnered with NAFEMS on last year. CAASE20 planning is already well underway for the next physical conference, which will take place June 16-18 in Indianapolis, and there are many more exciting initiatives in the pipeline for next year as well.
I’ll miss being involved in those new initiatives, but will still turn to DE for the latest news, trends and insights on design engineering technology. I look forward to seeing what changes the design engineering community tackles next. I hope my tenure here has played a part in providing you with useful information that has helped you in your work. I am extremely proud of what my colleagues and I have done over the years, and anticipate great things for DE in the future. Thanks for reading DE.