COE spoke with Shanaka Ranatunga, a lead mechanical engineer at Goken America, to hear his perspective on the importance of COE, why he joined, and his plans for his first COExperience.
COE: What are your role responsibilities at Goken America?
My title is “Technical Specialist,” but basically, I am a Lead Mechanical Engineer. I have predominantly worked on automotive chassis development, but more recently I have taken on a role where I evaluate and deploy new methods, tools, and technologies for our clients as well as our internal projects.
COE: How long have you been in your current role?
I started in March of this year, but it has been a fast ride. In the first month, we explored an MBSE approach to a current project and presented our results at the April 3DEXPERIENCE in Vegas.
COE: What was the principal driver in joining COE?
In my engineering career, as well as in college, I used CATIA almost every day. In my new role, I use more of the Dassault Systèmes platform and advanced technology. I want to share my experiences and to learn from others. There is always a better way!
COE: As a first-year COE member, how has your background with Dassault Systèmes and CATIA helped you integrate with the organization?
My integration to date has been reading material like the general discussion post, monthly newsletter, and office discussions on COE topics. When the call to action for COExperience presentations arrived, I knew that the knowledge that we have gained relative to model-based systems engineering would allow me to contribute. I have also signed up to present an “Ask the Experts” webinar. These will be the final two steps in our four-part technical investigation of MBSE.
COE: Thus far, what have been some of the top benefits of being part of COE?
So far, I have enjoyed and learned from the general discussions that happen through COE, where I got to see how other users model certain challenging features in CATIA. Even if it is a new way of doing something I have done in the past, I am gathering more knowledge. Recently I have learned about other COE offerings, and I look forward to exploring these other avenues.
COE: What information would you pass along that would encourage others to join COE?
When at Honda, I was exposed to how they utilize CATIA, and while their methods are powerful, I have learned other solutions from the COE community.
COE: What factors influenced your decision to present during your first COExperience?
In my current role, we are exploring model-based systems engineering. We presented phase-one of our project at the 3DExperience Forum in Las Vegas, and phase-two at ModSim in Novi.
Additionally, the encouragement and support from the Goken family, including others that have presented, helped me gain the confidence to present.
COE: What is the overall goal/theme of your COExperience presentation?
As a trained aerospace engineer, and after spending seven years in the automotive industry, I was excited to see a development process where acausal behavior models connect with systems requirements and 3D CAD models. Studies show that many companies are interested in MBSE, but very few are adopting it. Our work has shown a significant reduction in development time at the sub-systems level. My company has supported our team's efforts and has encouraged us to share this information with others.
COE: What are you most looking forward to at COExperience?
Other than going back to my college stomping grounds in Florida, I look forward to meeting and collaborating with fellow CATIA users. I am also looking forward to seeing all of the other applications and industries.
COE: Additional information/Closing thoughts/Advice for new COE members?
Jump in with both feet, and make the most of your membership! Explore new ideas and tools and share them with the COE community. Ask me again after my presentation at COExperience.