This is a guest blog by Nancy Evans
One might think that computers and engineering are distinct technological pursuits, as people often equate engineering with large macroscopic projects while computers are seen as producing effects that are contained on microscopic chips. However, since the 90s we have increasingly seen a merger of the two fields, which is not only resulting in a rise in software engineering jobs but in the widespread adoption of computer-aided technologies into traditional engineering fields. As a result, engineers are seeing a significant expansion of options in how they can pursue work. Here are a few different ways young engineers can integrate computer technology into their careers:
Learn CAD software
One of the major uses of computer technology in engineering is with CAD software. Computer aided design software is the application of computer technology for the purposes of design. This industrial art is now widely used in many traditional industries, such as automobile manufacturing, shipbuilding, aerospace, prosthetics, architectural projects and even special effects in movies. It is essentially the evolution of a merger between a graphical user interface and Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines (NURBS) geometry, and currently functions for all major platforms.
Become familiar with Product Lifestyle Management
CAD software is an element of product lifestyle management, which involves tracing a product from inception to completion. PLM includes Product Data Management, which can be used to study and assess buildings for structural integrity, ergonomics, voltages and even electromagnetic emissions. PLM fields also helps engineers with specific tasks, such as circuit boards, schematics, and civil engineering.
Gain a working knowledge of other science and technology applications
One recent example of the incredible merger of computer technology and engineering was the use of computer simulations of origami models in order to assist in space satellite assembly and deployment. These computerized origami models have also been used in certain nanotechnological applications as well, including attempts to create more durable and sustainable materials and substances for manufacturing industries.
The use of computer technology in engineering fields dates back to the 80s, but recent years have seen the two become almost completely dependent on one another. Many engineers rely on computer software in order to ensure accuracy in their projects. Similarly, many new software development projects keep engineering applications in mind during their development. Young engineers looking to put themselves on the fast track to success would benefit greatly from learning computer technology and science applications relevant to their field.
If you haven’t heard of the Institute for Engineering Career Development, check this out: http://engineeringmanagementinstitute.org/community/
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on how computer technology effects your engineering career.
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success