The other night I was reading this book about inventions to my boys. My older son asked if my company’s software was used to make any of them. It was great to hear his interest in not just the invention but how it was made. Then I showed him our 2012 calendar so he could see some real products made with our software. He asked if he could use the software someday to design something ;-).
I don’t know if he’ll be an engineer but it was one more reason I’ve taken the new gig I’m about to tell you about.
About six months ago, I was talking social media with Bill Boswell. He had just taken over our global partner marketing and we were brainstorming on how to better connect and communicate with our academic partners – the students and faculty who use our software.
Through our GO PLM Academic Program, we give a lot of software away to help colleges and universities provide education in the context of our latest CAD/PLM tools. Yet Bill says we’re in the perfect storm, noting there were only 2.25 million engineering graduates to fill 3 million engineering jobs worldwide in 2010. There is so much more we want to do to improve the number and skill set of graduating engineers.
Social media will play an important role, which is why I’ve taken a new gig at Siemens PLM. I’m now directing online and social media for our partner strategy team. I get to practice what I’ve been preaching the past few years to improve our communications and community outreach.
I’ll still be blogging here but more focused on the great ideas coming through academia. It’s pretty amazing what students do with our software like the Rose Hulman student engineers who made a prosthetic arm for a disabled kindergartener or the Principia students who design and race a solar car each year. In case you missed it, I talked with Chuck on his December podcast about some of our recent academic efforts in Russia and around the world. Listen in at 9:04 in the podcast.
I’m convinced if we can find and share more great engineering stories, we can calm the storm and fill the gap that exists in graduating engineers. And I’ll have more material for bedtime stories ;-).
P.S. I’m ramping up in the new gig this quarter while I hand over the social media reins to two socially-savvy individuals. One will be based in Germany addressing the business units headquartered there. The other is someone you already know and love ;-). Please join me in congratulating Susan Cinadr as the new lead for social at Siemens PLM. BTW, if you’re interested in Susan’s old gig, check it out on our careers page (search ID #: EB-2071381619).