Dassault Systèmes

Dassault Systèmes, Cranfield collaborate on 3DExperience centre of excellence

Partnership between tech firm and university aims to provide centre for experiential, lifelong learning with connected 3D engineering platform to accelerate digital and sustainable transformation of aerospace and defence industry

Dassault Systèmes and Cranfield University are launching the 3DExperience Edu Centre of Excellence, in an effort to push forward digital experiences and present the knowledge and know-how that will enable the next generation of students, technicians, engineers and innovators to thrive in the aerospace industry’s transformation journey toward digitisation and sustainability.

The partnership – revealed at the 2023 Paris Air Show – marks the first Edu Centre of Excellence in the UK, joining a network of 16 centres in the worldwide programmes.

The centres are designed to accelerate experiential lifelong learning locally, by providing businesses and governments with a network of centres to develop the 3DExperience platform expertise needed for what is described as the virtual and collaborative leap of the industry, and the reduction of the skills gap. They also rely on Dassault Systèmes’ certification programme to validate their skills and knowledge.

In the UK, the two companies guarantee to offer at the centre, slated to open officially in September 2023, a unique virtual/real learning experience that combines the Dassault Systèmes 3DExperience engineering platform and Cranfield University’s education facilities, renowned as a leading university in aerospace engineering.

In the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject, it was ranked in the global top 30 for engineering – mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing. Cranfield has existing links to industry-leading businesses such as Airbus, BAESystems and Boeing.

The campus facility will provide experiential, initial and lifelong learning with Dassault Systèmes’ 3DExperience platform, empowering the existing and future workforce to accelerate the digital and sustainable transformation of the aerospace industry.

The centre will also endeavour to offer what are described as unique learning opportunities, combining virtual worlds on the 3DExperience platform with real-life project learning to upskill the workforce of today and address future needs.

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Cranfield University will deliver courses and curricula designed in collaboration with aerospace employers and taught by platform-certified instructors to students and professionals wanting to upskill. It will help learners to boost employability by developing in-demand skills in virtual twin processes, data-driven manufacturing and sustainable design, in the context of existing and future job roles.

The firms believe learners will benefit from Cranfield’s existing network of industry contacts, as well as from Dassault Systèmes’ certification programme to validate skills and knowledge.

“The journey towards digitisation and sustainability will only be possible if the right skills are developed within the workforce,” said John Kitchingman, managing director of EuroNorth and global vice-president for customer engagement at Dassault Systèmes.

“With an ageing workforce and an acute shortage of technical and digital skills, we know businesses in aerospace are struggling to maintain a competitive edge at a time where leadership in business sustainability is required,” he said. “The new 3DExperience Edu Centre of Excellence at Cranfield University will help to train and upskill the workforce of the future, helping the industry to continue to innovate sustainably by using digital technology.”

“We’ve chosen to partner with Dassault Systèmes because of the ecosystem it already has within the aerospace industry, as well as the cutting-edge technology it has developed through its modelling, simulation and optimisation industry software,” said Helen Atkinson, pro-vice-chancellor for the school of aerospace, transport systems and manufacturing at Cranfield University.

“Its network of 3DExperience Edu Centres of Excellence across the world will also provide invaluable knowledge-sharing opportunities, and we’re excited to work together to foster sustainable innovation and empower the workforce of today and of tomorrow.”

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