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  • By Ashley Hanson
  • In Blog
  • Posted 18/08/2015

Ashley Hanson discusses how a grounding in simulation at university is a win-win for all involved

When asked what advice he would give to anyone starting out in business, Sir James Dyson said first and foremost to, “Employ good engineers and scientists; trust them, listen to their ideas, believe in them and back them”. High praise indeed for engineers and scientists, giving rise to the notion that today’s engineering and manufacturing students are tomorrow’s potential business leaders.

Modern engineering and manufacturing disciplines are deeply technology-centric, as disciplines such as simulation become more and more integral to everything from product development to process optimisation and factory floor design. A solid grounding in simulation software therefore has to be a crucial part of the syllabus for any manufacturing or engineering degree, for the benefit of the student and future employers alike.

Lanner partners with over 50 universities world-wide, across the US, UK and China in particular, providing its market leading WITNESS simulation software to assist with teaching across a wide variety of sectors. Reciprocal relationships with these seats of learning ensure that Lanner can continue to develop best practice when it comes to simulation. For example, its 25 year partnership with Cranfield School of Management has facilitated best practice in numerous research projects, as students and academics have adapted Lanner’s industry leading simulation software across a number of real world projects. By testing new thinking and new ideas, the research and work carried out by Cranfield School of Management goes someway to helping Lanner to develop products and solutions which are aligned specifically to industry demand.

Using simulation in universities isn’t just for teaching or product development purposes either, with simulation playing a crucial role in academic research projects which go on to provide real value for the business world. This was very much the case with a project initiated by Manchester Metropolitan University and the Lahore University of Management Science to optimise elevator call strategies. The project teams at the universities selected WITNESS based on its experimentation capabilities, flexibility and proven track record within similar projects. Using WITNESS, the project team was able to evaluate a number of strategies to reduce congestion and improve quality of service, resulting in valuable insights which can now be used by any organisation tasked with installing, renovating or enhancing an elevator system.

Simulation is integral to achieving operational excellence and Lanner’s efforts to promote and encourage the use of simulation within manufacturing faculties at universities can only serve to drive industry best practice. A grounding in simulation at university can substantially boost a graduate’s career path, as well adding immense value to any future employers who follow Sir James Dyson’s advice by trusting and believing in their engineers, with the confidence that they have experience of using the most up-to-date, sophisticated simulation tools to optimise processes and encourage excellence.

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