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Noor Article Makes Case for More Immersive and Interactive Workforce Development

Ahmed Noor, eminent scholar and William E. Lobeck Professor of modeling, simulation and visualization engineering at Old Dominion University, has written an article for this month's Mechanical Engineering magazine.

In the article "Training for the Next Wave," he discusses the need for better, more immersive and interactive workforce development as the complexity of interconnected systems increases.

Noor's four-page article lays out a prescription for a better-prepared future workforce, relying heavily on immersive, interactive tools for real-world training simulations. It's not merely complex machines that future workers need to operate. Noor writes: "Design teams are also growing more complex as the variety of technology in a system requires increasingly interdisciplinary collaboration."

Noor writes that the workforce is short of personnel that can excel in these situations. "High-tech companies are having increasing difficulty filling positions of strategic importance to maintain their competitive position in a global market."

Several STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) improvement and pilot academic engineering programs have been proposed to address some of the needs and challenges of the high-tech workforce. "However, despite these and other efforts made over the last decades, the inadequacy of engineering programs to meet the challenges of complex systems, and a general decline in STEM skills among high school graduates, persist," Noor writes.

A comprehensive strategy is needed to tackle these shortcomings, including the implementation of intelligent cyber-physical engineering ecosystems, to advance collaboration among engineering and research institutions, along with other stakeholders working on complex systems.

Noor writes that the proposed ecosystem "can accelerate the training that the engineering workforce needs to realize and sustain" advances in technology that have marked scientific progress in the decades to date.

This article was posted on: March 16, 2012

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