Skills development and recoding in engineering analysis and simulation : Industry needs

Lees, Andrew and Wood, James (2011) Skills development and recoding in engineering analysis and simulation : Industry needs. In: NAFEMS World Congress, NWC2011, 2011-05-23 - 2011-05-26.

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The EASIT2 project (Engineering Analysis and Simulation Innovation Transfer), funded under the European Union Lifelong Learning Programme, has the major goal to contribute to the competitiveness and quality of engineering, design and manufacturing in Europe through identifying the generic competencies that users of engineering analysis and simulation systems must possess. This competency framework will include a comprehensive Educational Base, a web-based interface compatible with other staff development systems, with links to associated resource material that engineers and analysts can use to develop and track their competencies. The project will also deliver an integrated Registered Analyst (RA) Scheme to provide recognition of achievement of these competencies. In order to help ensure that the deliverables of this project meet industry needs, a survey was undertaken and this paper summarises the findings of this survey. The survey comprised of an online questionnaire and was completed by 1094 respondents from 50 different countries. A large majority of respondents thought a system to define analyst skills and provide links to appropriate training resources would be useful. There was also strong support for a form of professional qualification in engineering analysis. The advantages to industry that these project deliverables would bring include incentives for staff development, marketing power and enhanced subcontractor qualification and internal resource management. The survey also provided a valuable insight into the current state of the engineering analysis and simulation industry. The most significant barriers to the effective use of engineering analysis were identified as recruitment of suitably qualified and experienced staff and a lack of analysis skills. “Pressure of work” was also identified as the most significant reason why organisations fail to get the most out of engineering analysis software. The findings of this survey are now being used in the development of the project deliverables to ensure that they meet the needs of industry as much as possible.