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CAE Design Analyst - New Trending Career for Mechanical Engineers

Updated: Mar 14, 2021

Mechanical engineers research, design, develop and test mechanical and thermal devices including tools, engines, machines etc. Design and manufacturing is very vital to the progress of civilization. Before we dig deeper into CAE, let us first understand the basics of engineering design. Engineering design of a product can be broken into four steps:

1. Problem definition – in the initial stages of product development, it is necessary to clearly define what the product is meant to achieve and / or do.

2. Creative process – once the objective of the product is identified, it is necessary to synthesize its form. This involves brainstorming sessions where designers and engineers meet and interact. Various forms are evaluated and selected into a set of few workable solutions.

3. Analytical process – Fitting the product into form is the next step. This requires strength and reliability analysis, cost determination, etc. This step is very important and iterative. Multiple solutions for the product may be evaluated till the optimal values are achieved. This is where CAE is blended with CAD. Using CAE software, trained engineers are able to evaluate various parameters of the desired object.

4. Prototype development & testing – this is where the theory is translated into practical. Prototypes are developed and tested, usually using 3D printers for rapid development.

The use of computer-aided engineering (CAE) in today’s market is increasing, especially in new product development and sustainment; research and development (R&D); and manufacturing with emerging technology. New products in almost every industry are now built with smart technological features that provide a better experience to the end users and this technology integration adds a multi-skill requirement to any engineering solution. Challenges have emerged as products are becoming more complex to satisfy expectations in the functional, business and customer satisfaction aspects of product development.

There is an increased demand for product/system level CAE expertise, functional/technical expertise and value-added services. Specifically, companies often need:

  • Recommendations for efficient/optimized designs.

  • Support for new technologies such as electrification, autonomous vehicle development, Big Data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT) and virtual reality.

  • Turnkey solutions (providing the solution for the problem, not just the service — industrial design, product design, testing, manufacturing, project management, etc.)

Because of this, the need for development of niche areas in CAE is becoming more important as part of the engineering solution.

Role of CAE in Engineering The benefits of incorporating CAE in engineering and design development include:

  • Non-destructive virtual testing even before the prototype is built.

  • Reducing the timeline for product development.

  • Catching problems early.