A report, co-authored by an OU academic, which forecasts clear trends for engineering design for the next 20 years, has been published by the Design Society.
Product Development 2040: Technologies are just as good as the designer’s ability to integrate them, authored by Claudia Eckert, OU Professor of Design and Ola Isaksson, Professor of Systems Engineering and Engineering Design at Chalmers University of Technology, provides useful insights into how industry may develop and what its needs will be over the next 20 years.
It highlights that engineering practise in the future will be more systemic, interdisciplinary and virtual in which new groups of people will have to work together. The report will be a useful resource for planning and contextualising research as well as for curriculum planning.
Professor Eckert said:
“Industry and the government both set great hopes in new technologies addressing current problems and giving us competitive advantage, but industry needs to have the tools, methods and processes to capitalise on these opportunities. To put these in place they need to understand how different trends will affect them. For example, the report talks about future engineering processes being much more geographically dispersed, and we see that coming through with vengeance in the moment.
“Life-long learning will play a really important role in the future of engineering as engineers prepare themselves to work in digitally supported multiple disciplinary teams. At the OU we are in an ideal position to provide some of this teaching.&rdquo