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Using Distance Learning For Cad Based Training And Plm Education Of Incumbent Engineers

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Programs That Serve Industry and Academia

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1318.1 - 14.1318.12



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Paper Authors

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Daniel Wittenborn Boeing Company

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Michael Richey Boeing Company

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John Paredes Boeing Company

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Daniel Schrage Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dale Atkins Georgia Institute of Technology

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Using Distance Learning for CAD-Based Training and PLM Education of Incumbent Engineers


Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) -- the process of managing a product from its conception through retirement -- is being applied to programs across Boeing to improve performance and lower costs. Engineers involved in every stage of a product's design, development and manufacture need to have an in-depth understanding of PLM and its challenges. At the same time, continual advances in engineering design and simulation tools and methodologies require engineers to refresh their knowledge of the fundamentals and to keep up with new developments.

To address these immediate and growing needs, Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering joined with Boeing's Learning, Training and Development (LTD) organization to offer three courses within a continuing education certificate program that blends academics with the practical information that engineers need to be successful. The courses are taught off-hours with virtual lectures delivered by Georgia Tech professors and virtual labs delivered by both Georgia Tech faculty and Boeing Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Similar programs have been offered in the past, but this is the first time industry and academia have partnered to offer a PLM program involving CAD-based training in an entirely distance learning format. The virtual labs will utilize distance learning technologies to give students the ability to access and learn CATIA V5, ENOVIA LCA and DELMIA remotely.

The benefits of this type of distance-based training program are numerous, especially to a large global corporation. The ability to train engineers in multiple geographic locations at the same time on how to use complex, 3D engineering software is extremely valuable. It eliminates the need for either subject matter experts or potential students to travel to a common location in order for the training to take place, saving a company significant amounts of money. Online training is not new, but online training of robust CAD and 3D simulation software such as CATIA, Pro-Engineer, Unigraphics or DELMIA is not easy to do or well documented.

This paper will describe the technical architecture of the distance-based lab environment, challenges of using instructors from both academia and industry to co-teach the lab simultaneously, steps taken and testing that was done prior to implementation, student reactions to the learning environment, shortcomings of this approach compared to a traditional classroom, lessons learned, and ideas for future improvements to the distance-based lab approach.


There are many engineers in industry who lack the knowledge of current PLM concepts and tools. This can be detrimental to both them and their company in today’s highly competitive manufacturing markets. Companies who do not constantly look for new ways to adapt and improve in order to give them a competitive advantage may be surpassed by competitors. The development of this Integrated Design and Manufacturing through Product Lifecycle Management (IDM-PLM) Certificate Program in a completely online environment to educate

Wittenborn, D., & Richey, M., & Paredes, J., & Schrage, D., & Atkins, D. (2009, June), Using Distance Learning For Cad Based Training And Plm Education Of Incumbent Engineers Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5518

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