Power Electronics

Are Engineers Being Left Behind?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the present economic conditions in our nation have led to 12.5 million nonfarm unemployed, or about 8.1% of the population. Some states are even worse, with 10.5% unemployed in California. It is hard to tell how many engineers are unemployed, but the above numbers must include a significant amount. Even Microsoft, Intel and Caterpillar have had layoffs. So what, if anything, is being done for unemployed engineers?

One company that has stepped up to help is CD-adapco, whose “No Engineer Left Behind” (NELB) paraphrases the “No Child Left Behind” program for U.S. public schools. NELB offers free training and software aimed at improving the skills and marketability of recently unemployed or displaced engineers. CD-adapco is a global provider of full-spectrum engineering simulation (CAE) solutions for fluid flow, heat transfer and stress. STAR-CD and STAR-CCM+ provide comprehensive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solutions, with the STAR-CAD Series as an easy-to-use CAD-embedded front door to the full spectrum of CD-adapco solutions, backed by 27 years of extensive experience in CAE consulting.

Although these subjects are of peripheral interest to power electronics engineers, the fact that somebody is willing to help is a good sign. Hopefully, other companies will step in and assist in other ways. The basic CD-adapco approach could serve as a template for what can be done. Is it possible that the IEEE would lend a hand?

Here's how the CD-adapco program works. Qualifying engineers are invited to attend free training courses at any of CD-adapco's training facilities, which are located in Detroit, Houston and Seattle. The training focuses on the practical application of engineering simulation software to “real-world” industrial problems. You can apply these skills to a wide range of industries, including aerospace and defense; automotive; biomedical; buildings; chemical; environmental; marine, oil and gas; power generation; and turbomachinery.

After successful completion of the training course, attendees take home a CD-adapco certificate of competence and a free, six-month software license of CD-adapco's CFD code, STAR-CCM+. Having access to the code allows attendees to practice and hone the learned skills that are a global standard for CAE simulation. This opportunity is well more than $25,000 of in-kind value.

Requirements include:

  • Eligible engineers must have been employed in an industrial engineering position within the last 12 months.

  • Attendance at the CD-adapco training course is free of charge; however, attendees are responsible for all expenses and other incidental costs of attendance (i.e., hotel, transportation and food).

  • Training courses are subject to available openings and preregistration and acceptance by CD-adapco.

  • The free-of-charge STAR-CCM+ license will be valid for six months from the date of delivery after certification of completion of the training course.

  • License of STAR-CCM+ will be subject to the terms and conditions of CD-adapco's software license agreement and export control requirements.

  • The license is intended for noncommercial-use purposes only. However, licensees who become employed during the six-month license term may continue to use the software, with CD-adapco's permission, at their new place of employment until the license expires.

  • CD-adapco has no obligation to fulfill any offers under this program and may cancel the program at any time. CD-adapco makes no representations or warranties express or implied, nor shall it be liable, in any manner whatsoever regarding the program and results or for licensee's use of the software.

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