“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
– Malcolm X
Collaboration is the path to innovation, and perhaps one of the most impactful groups we can learn from and contribute to are our future leaders. So, when we opened the doors to RedEye’s Las Vegas office in 2017, the local university was one of our first stops. We sat down with Dr. Venkat, Dean of Engineering at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to see how we could contribute to the engineers of tomorrow.
Since that first introduction, RedEye has hosted UNLV interns, mentored students, and even had our industry experts judge their final year engineering design projects. As we collaborated with Dean Venkat and got to know the students, it became clear that the engineering students were graduating with an exceptional theoretical background in engineering and great technical skills. However, like many graduates, their knowledge wasn’t grounded in practical skills – the simple, basic, and yet critically important tools that would empower students to do their jobs.
We saw an opportunity to bridge that gap. Together, we decided that RedEye would create a Digital Engineering Course through UNLV, for both students and external professionals to attend. The first iteration of this course launched a few weeks ago in June 2019 as a summer semester.
The purpose of this course was to empower a class of engineering students to hit the ground running in their careers, promote innovative thinking, and ultimately contribute to propelling the industry forward.
Through collaboration between education institutions and the industry, we can mitigate the “on the job” learning curve that holds graduates back.
Too often engineers spend the beginning of their career navigating the real-world application of their theoretical knowledge, learning the basics anecdotally, through trial and error, or from senior colleagues. This course smooths the transition from student to employee and cultivates the habit of innovative thought. Instead of accepting the way things are, we’re encouraging the emerging workforce to question, to transform, to reinvent.
If just one student makes a positive digital improvement in their engineering career because of our course’s content, it will have been a tremendous success.
With a focus on workplace preparation for engineering graduates, we decided to offer the course as an elective for final year students across undergrad, masters, and Ph.D. We took measures to remove as many barriers to entry as possible.
RedEye’s Digital Engineering course was:
- Open to all engineering majors
- Offered as a “short course” over the summer semester
- Held after business hours to enable working professionals to attend
This allowed us to offer the course to a wide range of students, although the majority of participants came from within Civil or Construction Management. We delivered a full course (30+ hours) of content within a 3-week period.
Course Content – An Overview
To maximise the value within the course, we leveraged RedEye’s global network of experts to prepare cutting-edge content for our students. We’re thankful to have also hosted two fantastic guest lecturers, courtesy of volunteers from our extended family Las Vegas Valley Water District and WaterStart.
The course was delivered by our Las Vegas team, and divided into three key areas:
- How We Got Here:
- drawing and document standards, BIM processes, case studies on digital twins
- Digital Engineering Standards:
- workflow management, the importance of operations and maintenance, field management
- The Future:
- project management and digital engineering, software platforms to use professionally, process design using digital engineering
For a complete breakdown and slide decks, contact the RedEye team!
From the outset, there are several lessons employers, education institutions, and industry organisations can take on board to pave the future of the industry.
- Awareness and explanation of current and emerging tech trends are critical to understanding how the engineering industry is going to change in the future. For instance, discussions on IoT, the history of cloud-computing, etc.
- Practical application of tomorrow’s engineering business processes – digital engineering standards, BIM workflow processes, etc– are not being widely taught. Giving students the basics before they hit the workforce will make UNLV students more valuable and innovative for employers.
- Utilising experienced professionals as guest-speakers further reinforces the practical value students get from courses.
If you’d to speak with a digital engineering expert or are interested in further course materials, start the conversation with Dave Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org