ASME and Autodesk Research the Future of Manufacturing

Sep 6, 2022

by ASME.org

Report includes recommendations for academic, industry, and government collaboration on system-level approaches to reduce “time to talent” and achieve Industry 4.0 business outcomes

NEW YORK (September 7, 2022) – The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Autodesk, Inc. have released the results of their collaborative multiphase research project on the “Future of Manufacturing.” To provide industry and academic guidance for advanced manufacturing, ASME and Autodesk conducted a research study from August 2021 through May 2022 that investigated and identified the future workflows and skills needed for mechanical engineering, manufacturing engineering, and machinist roles over the next decade as those roles converge and evolve.

“Industry voices have clearly called out the large gaps between the jobs skills required and the candidates’ skill sets. The skills gap will only widen as manufacturing firms accelerate their digital transformation to Industry 4.0,” according to the “Future of Manufacturing” research report. The report includes recommendations and adoption guidelines for educators and manufacturers on system-level approaches to reduce “time to talent” and achieve Industry 4.0 business outcomes. In addition, the report advocates for collaboration between government, industry, and academia in creating tomorrow’s manufacturing workforce.

The research team reviewed existing literature from nearly 80 academic, government, and industry sources in the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union, interviewed 30 academics and industry leaders in the U.S. and UK, and surveyed more than 300 in the U.S., UK, and Canada.

“We really had to ask ourselves and the field, what is next? What are the jobs of the future and the skills needed for those jobs? And most importantly, how and who do we train for the positions that don’t exist yet?” says Ashley Huderson, Ph.D., ASME’s director of engineering education and outreach, and a leader of the research team.

Emerging technologies including design for manufacturing (DfM), operations technology infrastructure, artificial intelligence/machine learning technologies such as generative design, integrated software platforms, and centralized data management will require new skills of mechanical and manufacturing engineers and machinists, the researchers found. The report recommends training and education to develop these “hard skills” for current and future employees. In addition, engineers and machinists will need strong “soft skills” including creative problem solving, communication, and collaboration, and interdisciplinary skills to close gaps for each job role.

“Our findings demonstrate a shared commitment between industry and academia to build a bright future for manufacturing,” says Simon Leigh, senior manager of design and manufacturing education strategy at Autodesk, who authored a blog post about the project. “Their overlapping interests in embracing emerging technologies, cross-role collaboration, and supplementing degrees with more hands-on learning gives us hope that future workers will be equipped with the skills that are direly needed for success in Industry 4.0.”

For more information, visit here for a video overview and to download the full report.

About ASME
ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing, and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education, and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world. In 2020, ASME formed the International Society of Interdisciplinary Engineers (ISIE) LLC, a new for-profit subsidiary to house business ventures that will bring new and innovative products, services, and technologies to the engineering community, and later established the holding company, Global Knowledge Solutions LLC. In 2021, ASME launched a second for-profit subsidiary, Metrix Connect LLC, an industry events and content platform to accelerate digital transformation in the engineering community and an agent for the Mechanical Engineering® brand of media products. For more information, visit www.asme.org.

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About the ASME Foundation
The ASME Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, supporting an array of programs in three core pillars: engineering education, career engagement, and global development. With the goal of empowering tomorrow's technical workforce, the ASME Foundation advances equitable access both to professional opportunities and to engineering innovations that improve quality of life. For more information, visit www.asmefoundation.org.

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Media Contacts:

Monica Shovlin
MCShovlin Communications LLC (for ASME)
monica@mcshovlin.com
+1 541-554-3796

Drew Esposito
Autodesk
drew.esposito@autodesk.com
+1 415.539.4858

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