Author Archive

Breaking Down Autodesk’s Vision for Simulation

Five years ago, if you asked which software providers had the strongest set of design and simulation capabilities, it’s safe to say that Autodesk wouldn’t be the first one out of your mouth. Many would admit they’ve developed and provided a number of design and engineering accelerator type technologies, but analysis and simulation? But lo and behold, fast forward to today and the story has changed a bit. Autodesk still might not be the first software provider mentioned, but they’re not far down the list.

People Skills in Engineering Education

A few weeks ago, I wrote about The Importance of People Skills for Engineers. The basic premise is that because engineers work with people from all sorts of roles from different functional departments to resolve product issues, they need people skills more than anyone else in the company. While writing those points, I have to admit that one major question kept running through my head.

Why didn’t I learn anything like this in engineering school?

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

Where Lean Product Development Goes Wrong

Surprising how time flies by isn’t it. Here we are, now in March of 2011 and I’m thinking to myself “how did that happen?” Feeling the need to catch up, I called a friend of mine here in Austin and went to grab a drink. We spent a while catching up but soon enough, our conversation steered towards shop-talk. See, he’s an been deploying lean, six sigma and other similar initiatives for years. And what he said surprised me a bit.

Sustainable Minds: Are Accurate and Early Lifecycle Assessments Truly Feasible?

Seems everyone is talking green products nowadays. But how can you tell if the talk is greenwashing or a product that is actually better for the environment? Up to this point, any effort to honestly make a product greener has been pure brute effort. However, new software applications and systems could enable engineers greater visibility into the eco-impact of their decisions. One such system is called Sustainable Minds (company website).

Planview: A Little More than PPM? Not Quite PLM?

We all know what Product Portfolio Management (PPM) is. Right? Is the system that let’s us assess product ideas, compare them and ultimate fund a few for development. But it also let’s continually assess the health of funded projects to kill those that aren’t as successful as we’d like. Well, a few weeks back, I met with the folks at Planview (company website) to get some insight into their products. And I think there’s a little more to their software than first meets the eye.

Simply Pragmatic: The SPLM Teamcenter and Microsoft Office Integration

Most people that follow this blog might notice a recurring theme in my posts: engineers simply have too many lifecycle responsibilities to be come experts in any software application or system. A few weeks ago, this line of thinking led me to post some thoughts on how mashup applications could bring access to many enterprise systems to the engineer in one place. And I still think that’s one of the more feasible alternatives for engineers.

People Classroom

Learning and the 10,000 Hour Threshold to Become an Expert Engineer?

Do you consider yourself an expert at your job? Well, maybe that’s not the best question. Let’s try this instead. All tags and titles aside, do you consider yourself a professional’s professional as an engineer? Why ask the question? Well, something in an interesting article written by Tony Schwartz over at the Harvard Business Review …

Learning and the 10,000 Hour Threshold to Become an Expert Engineer? Read More »

Every Engineer’s Dirty Little Secret? The Stigma of 2D

A couple weeks ago, I attended Solidworks World over in San Antonio. While I was there, I got updates on several products and got to have some very frank conversations with users. Overall, it was a very good event. But the most poignant moment for me, thanks to the goodness of social media, didn’t happen in real-time or even face-to-face. It’s when I saw a picture of the back of a t-shirt someone wore at the show. It was tweeted and retweeted again and again on twitter. Here’s the link to the picture posted on Jeff’s Tool Shed blog, but to make it short, it said:

2D is for Sissies

Research on CEO’s Priorities: What it Means for Engineering

Ever wanted to know what exactly was running through your CEO’s head? Well, you’re not alone. Sometimes, it can be a little difficult to discern exactly what you can do best to help the company. And gaining insight into what your CEO is really concerned about sheds some light on that.