Pavan Kumar, VP South Asia & MD, Altair India, shares his views on why industries need institutions such as CoE Pune.
Educational institutions are pumping out many engineers today, but, unfortunately they are lacking in the right qualifications. The burden of then right-skilling them is placed upon the industry, where a lot of time is wasted and money is spent. This need for right-skilling is something that we at Altair and our long-standing partner DesignTech Systems have observed. There is an opinion that institutions should teach things that are applicable in real life. However, this is not possible without teaching the fundamentals - that is the physics - and then teaching its applications. Theoretical knowledge and basics are often understood in an incomplete manner.
The industry, however, requires quick methods and solutions and not necessarily the fundamental physics. Tools used in the industry will spew answers or solutions based on what is fed to them. They are essentially input-output tools. The gap between theoretical fundamentals and the industry-required knowledge needs to be bridged. With a great age dividend like India’s, where 65 per cent of the population is under 29, not tackling employment, skill and education issues can cause a huge socio-economic problem.
We are not just focusing on the engineering students that are passing out. We hope that the CoE will also benefit the MSME’s in the region. Taking the example of the auto industry, the shift from ICE to different forms of power will increase the role of suppliers. Therefore the suppliers base and the SMEs have to play a vital role in meeting the OEMs requirements. The SMEs and the supply base will have to adopt technologies which they didn’t have to up until this point. OEMs used to literally provide the SMEs with a drawing of the required product. Now they provide a specification sheet leaving the SMEs to model the product by themselves, which is a huge change.
The government of India is spending a lot of money on skill gaps. The current government’s focus has been re-skilling people and driving employment. We have been helping to refine this over a period of time. The CoE plan has been scrutinised by various experts of the STPs then the areas that need the most reskilling have been determined. The labs that have been decided are the ones that make the most sense. Altair India’s role here would be to provide the complete gamut of what we can achieve. Altair technology today can go right from conceptualising the product or industrial design perspective to valiating the product for various physics that is involved. Our technology can validate the durability or strength, and even test for flaws, unnecessary noises and vibrations which is an indication of an unsafe product. We can extend safety studies into the domain of communication with IoT and sensorisation becoming part of the game. In today's world everything has to be able to communicate with every thing else. Therefore we have a lab dedicated towards IoT and communications. The next major thing is additive manufacturing. This taps into the concept of no-constraints based design. This is useful for simulation testing where tools aim to mimic the actual test. As actual tests aim to mimic actual real life conditions, simulations can help to reduce the number of cycles in testing. At the same time, there needs to be a synergy between the medicine and engineering side to study the effects of communication technology on humans as they often involve radio signals and EM waves.