Being at an event as big as the AIAA ASM show in Nashville left us with many different impressions. The sheer amount of information available at conferences like this is overwhelming. But out of all the amazing things we saw and heard, one thing stood out among the others – the number of impressive young students at the show. These engineers of tomorrow brought their enthusiasm to every meeting they visited (especially our Sneak Peek event on Tuesday night).
In her keynote address to the New Horizons Forum, Brig. General Dana H. Born of the U.S. Air Force Academy talked about the challenges and opportunities facing educators of tomorrow’s aerospace engineers. One of our favorite quotes Brig. Born had on her slide show was “The mind is a fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled.” (by Plutarch)
Brig. Born emphasized that STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) has been a focus for the U.S. Air Force Academy as a way of overcoming the United State’s lagging numbers among the world’s students. The STEM educational coalition has advocated for years with Congress, the federal government and other organizations about the vital role that STEM education plays in America’s economic future.
We were impressed by how many students easily mixed with seasoned engineers during the various events. Several of us were joined by students who were eager to meet Mike and Don, and just as enthusiastic to tell us about their Ph.D. theses. The optimism among these young engineers makes it even more exciting to be involved in making the world better through engineering.
There was a moment in Brig. Born’s speech that crystallized the idea for this blog post. She brought up the Jetsons. Back in 1962 when that animated cartoon first hit our limited TV channels, they showed cars that could fly; automated coffee makers; phones without wires. She made the point that we never could have dreamed that these ideas could have become a reality, but our engineers have made it so.
What struck us was that the generation of young engineers with us at AIAA ASM was likely too young to remember the Jetsons. But they’ll have their own futuristic movies and books that will inspire them to challenge the next generations of the human race; to make their world even better than our own.
CFD Visualization Software and the Engineers of Tomorrow
At Tecplot, Inc., we’re proud to have ongoing relationships with top engineering and scientific universities. Through our Tecplot on Campus program, qualified educational customers get full versions of our CFD visualization software at affordable prices. We work closely with each university to allow them the flexibility to choose which combination of support, configuration, quantity and price that best match their unique needs.
Ever since Mike and Don worked with NASA while still at Boeing, then later worked on their own in the early days of Tecplot, Inc., they were in love with the ‘new frontiers’ of engineering. Mike said, “It was always exciting. Engineers were heroes.” Watching them speak to so many young engineering students who work with Tecplot CFD visualization software at their universities, we could see that Don and Mike were still invigorated by the excitement in these young minds. The future is still very bright for engineering.
At Tecplot, Inc., we realize that CFD visualization software is only a small part of the engineer’s job. But we’re certain that advances like Tecplot Chorus will open up new avenues of understand for these young scientists. We’re confident that helping engineers and scientists “surf” their data will lead to even more wonderful inventions in years to come.
The AIAA homepage has a series of banners on it with the theme “How Far Can You See?” We’re delighted to help tomorrow’s engineers see even more deeply into their data and do more with it than they ever thought possible.