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Design Engineer Aaron Solet on Lanco’s Selection of Solid Edge for CAD

This series of posts focuses on the perspectives on executives, managers and staff personnel in the engineering organization. This post specifically features Aaron Solet, a Mechanical Design Engineer from Lanco. It includes video excerpts from an interview I conducted with Andrew at the Siemens PLM Analyst Event in Boston, MA. When it comes to selecting …

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The Debate over Differences at Work across Generations

Back in July, Rawn Shah who is a consultant for social networking for business over at IBM, contributing an interesting post to Forbes.com called Why You Must Network With Your Younger Employees. Now I disagree with Rawn on several points in this post including his statements saying that Boomers hoard and control information and the fact that he grouped GenY’ers and Millenials together, but he posted a very interesting table that compares and contrasts some characteristics across generations.

CTO Dr. Andrew Thomas on Energist’s Transition to Synchronous Technology

Last week, we heard from Dr. Thomas Andrew from Energist on selecting Solid Edge as their CAD and CAE for mechanical design. And as interesting as that interview is, it’s not the end of the story. A couple years after they started using Solid Edge, Siemens PLM introduced Synchronous Technology (wikipedia entry). While there’s always some excite around new technologies and the value they can deliver with their use, there’s also some trepidation around the learning curve and procedural changes to day to day work. During my interview with Dr. Thomas, I asked him how and why they made the transition.

What is ‘The Goal’ for Engineering? How Alex Rogo Came to Conclusions…

Sometimes, it’s the simplest questions that are exactly the hardest ones to answer. In a post last week, I wrote about a book I read some time ago called The Goal (wikipedia entry). In it, the main character struggles to identify both the goal, increased profitability, and constraints of that goal, production bottlenecks and sales limitations, in a manufacturing plant he oversees in an effort to save it from being shut down. Based on that premise, I asked what the analogue is to engineering. What exactly is the goal for engineering? What are the constraints keeping engineering from that goal?

CTO Dr. Andrew Thomas on Energist’s Selection of Solid Edge

Everyone likes to have a second opinion, right? I see it at many places like LinkedIn where people ask about the use of different software systems and applications. “Have you used system x?” one might ask. “Have you used application c” another might ask. Now of course, I have my own perspectives on engineering software systems and applications that I publish here at this blog. But an overall goal of mine is also to provide a platform to those in the engineering community to be heard. That’s why I conduct video interviews.

The Challenge of GenY’s Expectations for Engineering

Do you remember what is was like when you were first hired as an engineer? Do you remember the type of work you did? Did you enjoy it? Was it fulfilling? I imagine some of you are laughing at that last question. But in all seriousness. Think about it. Now hold on to that thought while we start to talk about Gen Y engineers. These are the people just graduating from engineering school and getting their first job. They’re just starting off their professional career. Think they’re in the same mental state you were in? Actually, that’s very unlikely.

Some Answers to the Question: What exactly is PTC’s Windchilll SocialLink?

When I attended the PTC/User conference and heard this announcement earlier this year, I thought it was an interesting concept. I knew it brought more social computing capabilities into product development. I heard a lot about the vision of what it would eventually become. But at that point, I had no idea exactly what capabilities it would offer. Since I was in Boston last week, I made it a point to drop by PTC and talk it over with Christian Barr, a product marketing manager for Windchill SocialLink.

The Flight Risk of GenX Engineers

To get some perspective on what the Gen X mindset looks like in a professional environment, I’m going to turn back to Tammy Erickson at the Harvard Business Review (HBR) again. Across a lot of blog posts and publications, things aren’t so mixed bag for Gen X. They’re sandwiched between two much larger (in terms of volume) generational cohorts, the Boomers and Gen Y, leading to a lot of dissatisfaction. However, they exhibit the sort of characteristics that engineering organizations need the most right now to bolster economic recovery through new product development.

The ‘Value-Add Qualifier’ Principle

How much of your day is spent adding engineering value to your development projects? Think about it for a minute. All that email. That huge list of issues you track in a spreadsheet. Running across the office with those forms because you heard the engineering director finally came out of that meeting. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of non-value added work that goes on every day in the engineering office.