Innovation and collaborative, synchronized program management for new programs
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, or Norges TekniskNaturvitens-kapelige Universitet (NTNU), is a leading international university, educating tomorrow’s engineers based on a wide array of fields, with a particular focus on values. With a heritage dating back to 1760, NTNU has approximately 22,000 students, supported by seven faculties and 52 institutes.
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is the primary institution for the education of engineers and scientists in Norway. In addition to technology and science, NTNU offers a comprehensive curriculum featuring social sciences, teaching, arts and humanities, medicine, architecture and fine art. NTNU provides creative academic programs with far-reaching social and economic impact, both domestic and abroad. The oil industry – both offshore and onshore – represents an important focus at NTNU. With sustainable development at the forefront of many industrial activities today, NTNU is exploring radical ways to achieve more ecologically desirable development.
The objective of NTNU is to create engineers who are prepared to make an immediate and productive contribution in their endeavors. This includes providing an academic setting that fosters the highest values across commercial, cultural, community, aesthetical and environmental undertakings. NTNU’s motto, “The Creating University,” says a lot about the spirit that inspires the university.
While the university’s standards are high, its goals are even higher. For example, the university encourages groundbreaking teaching, research and artistic activities, promoting radical innovation in delivering value-added products more than supporting traditional incremental improvements.
Computer-aided design (CAD), computeraided engineering (CAE), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and other advanced technologies are essential to achieving the university’s goals.
According to Professor Terje Rølvåg, Department of Engineering Design and Materials (IPM) at NTNU, “The risk involved in radical innovation is high, but we want to apply high-end CAD/CAE/CAM tools to generate knowledge in the fuzzy front-end of product development, where the right decisions lead to high customer value and competitive edge.”
The IPM department at NTNU is using almost every modeling and simulation tool available with NX™ software from Siemens Digital Industries Software. Rølvåg notes that Teamcenter® software, also from Siemens Digital Industries Software, plays a key role in educating the engineering students as well: “For example, we use Teamcenter in the Shell ECO marathon and Formula Student competitions. The outcomes have been excellent.”
In deploying NX and Teamcenter, the university has incorporated product development and PLM technologies across its teaching curriculum and research program activity.
Early learning is initiated through webbased tutorials.
With easy access to NX for CAD/CAE/CAM assignments well-established, including crash modeling and simulation, Teamcenter has become the essential collaboration tool for both the engineering faculty and students. Use of Teamcenter has facilitated the efficient capture, storage and re-use of knowledge, as well as certification by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO).
Use of both NX and Teamcenter has also enabled more focus on actual research and construction, and less on hypothetical programs. With economies of scale gained using PLM tools, there have been notable efficiency gains, especially relative to administering the curricula themselves. More importantly, the faculty now has more time to fully develop and exploit an advanced problem-solving teaching approach, which it considers critical in helping educate the best engineers to address the challenges of innovative and sustainable manufacturing.
“Master studies have indicated that the most successful students are those who use PLM tools in the capturing and re-use of knowledge,” says Rølvåg. He points out that their collaboration skills grow rapidly using PLM: “Students who use product development and lifecycle management technologies, combined with lean principles, often achieve great results during their time at NTNU as well as beyond.”
Rølvåg points out, “Our students can do things today that were impossible 15 years ago, and create competitive advantage by developing and evaluating products that are more technically advanced. Our students get a comprehensive theoretical education and real-world training in advanced engineering tools, enabling them to be creative in developing products. Their skills and work have generated new patents, products and entrepreneurship, as well as new processes in leading companies.
“New and groundbreaking tools, such as NX and Teamcenter, are essential to advancing our educational efforts, fostering student innovation and delivering solutions beyond the university,” concludes Rølvåg.