Wichita State University and NIAR at COE 2016
In April, users of Dassault Systèmes software came together at the COE 2016 Annual PLM Experience & TechniFair in San Antonio, Texas. Among this year’s speakers and exhibitors was Shawn Ehrstein, Director of the National Institute for Aviation Research’s CAD/CAM Laboratory at Wichita State University. We recently spoke with Shawn about his experience at the conference, Wichita State’s partnership with Dassault, his thoughts on technology and predictions for the future.
What did Wichita State University bring to the COE 2016 Annual PLM Experience & TechniFair Conference?
We brought several robots: ABB, Baxter and Nao. The ABB engraved dog tags based on user input. We brought two additive manufacturing machines and performed live printing on some trinkets, as well as samples of other printed items. We brought a laser projection system for composites and a flight simulator that attendees could fly in. We also brought some virtual reality equipment including a 4K 3DTV, zSpace and Oculus head mounted display.
Briefly explain the partnership between Dassault and Wichita State University.
Dassault will have offices on our new Innovation Campus, which is right next to our 3DEXPERIENCE Center. We have worked with them for many years and over time, engaged with them more and more on things like research, EPP training and commercial licensing of their products.
Why is Wichita State willing to invest in Dassault?
We find their software to be top-notch and it is the primary software used by many of the aerospace companies that we work with.
Why is it important to teach Dassault technology to young engineers?
It is one of the major full-enterprise solutions in the market and provides high-capability tools to enable young engineers to put their thoughts into a 3D environment and continue toward producing. It allows them to make their innovations real.
How does Wichita State differ from other universities when it comes to education students on Dassault technology?
We participate on all levels. We teach classes within the university, but also teach their products to area high schools and continue to expand that offering. We are a certified education partner and provide industry training to companies. We also have commercial licenses for applied research and industry projects. Students are given the opportunity to do work at various companies using Dassault products as part of our applied learning program.
Is there any new technology that is being worked on or leveraged that is unique?
It’s hard to be completely unique. However, we are working with Dassault to get a complete multi-robotic advanced manufacturing cell operational in all kinds of activities from additive and subtractive manufacturing, inspection, reverse engineering, cleaning, painting, welding, etc. We will be using it to build complete systems in one cell and finding ways to create composite tooling in a more cost-effective and efficient manner.
Do you have any predictions for the future of the Dassault/Wichita State partnership?
I think there will be some very special things that come out of us working together. We will have a center where users who want to try things out or see how a complete software solution can work will be able to come and truly experience what it is like. Once that experience is understood, it will open the doors for companies to try new and innovative things without having to invest heavily into facilities or equipment. Once they perfect the new technology, method or process, then they can implement it into their own company.