What Will the New Normal Look Like?

Here at Digital Engineering, we have spent much of the past year evaluating how the pandemic affected the working life of our engineering audience, and the way they use technology.

Here at Digital Engineering, we have spent much of the past year evaluating how the pandemic affected the working life of our engineering audience, and the way they use technology.

In January, we reached an astounding anniversary. It had been 300 days since COVID-19 related restrictions were put in place in many states and communities in the U.S. Those have been very long days indeed for a lot of us, and the turmoil the pandemic has wrought will likely reverberate right through 2021.

 

There are, however, bright spots on the horizon. The delivery of multiple vaccines (in record time) and the end of a tumultuous election cycle should help move us further toward a post-pandemic era and, hopefully, economic recovery.

Here at Digital Engineering, we have spent much of the past year evaluating how the pandemic affected the working life of our engineering audience, and the way they use technology. This year, we are looking ahead to how that experience could change the way companies use simulation, 3D printing, CAD and other solutions moving forward. I have spoken to a number organizations across multiple sectors over the past few months, and the majority expect that remote work will continue through the summer, and that many engineers and designers could be working from home or remotely even after pandemic-related restrictions are no longer necessary. How will that change the design cycle? What will this new normal really look like? We evaluate some of those potential changes in this issue.

This year provides us all an opportunity to make use of the lessons we learned in 2020. Engineering technology will play a key role in helping us to build on that abrupt and unexpected education.

We will also focus more on how the engineering technology we cover can be leveraged to help companies achieve their sustainability goals. Sustainability initiatives are increasingly prominent among manufacturers and within the design and simulation technology companies that serve them. How can engineering innovation be used to design more efficient products and manufacturing processes, and reduce the environmental impact of that production? We take a look at 3D printing sustainability efforts in the current issue, as well as the activities of the PLM Green Global Alliance.

Our team has other big plans for 2021. It is still not clear when we can all start traveling to conferences again, so we are currently planning two virtual conferences that will showcase innovative uses of simulation, CAD, additive manufacturing, digital thread and other technologies.

On June 16, NAFEMS Americas and Digital Engineering will present the one-day virtual Conference on Advancing Analysis & Simulation (CAASE21). Then in October, DE will launch our own inaugural Design and Simulation Summit, a one-day virtual conference focused on the key technology areas that we cover. More details will follow as we get closer to the event launches.

This year provides us all an opportunity to make use of the lessons we learned in 2020. Engineering technology will play a key role in helping us to build on that abrupt and unexpected education.

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