Cutting edge: Tech students prepping for engineering careers with new simulation software

HOUGHTON – Besides providing a general education, part of the mission of Michigan Technological University is to make sure students are ready for their chosen careers, and new software being used in the mechanical engineering department is meant to do that, according to William Predebon.

Predebon, chairman of the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department, said this is the second semester the students have been using a modeling and simulation software called HyperWorks, which is designed to reduce the need for building prototypes of particular products.

“The industry would have to build many prototypes and prototypes are very expensive,” he said.

Most industries have been using simulation software for years, now, Predebon said, and it is important for students know how to use that when they leave school and look for work.

“Simulations is the way all industries work,” he said.

If a designer can see problems in a particular potential product with the simulation, Predebon said, it can reduce the costs of the prototypes, which are eventually created, by eliminating those problems first.

Predebon said he visited the company called Altair, which created the HyperWorks software and he was impressed with it and decided it should be used at Tech.

With the simulation software, Predebon said mechanical engineering students have experience with simulation in design in all four years of classes.

Some students like the new software, Predebon said, and some have trouble with it.

“Students feel it’s a lot of work,” he said.

The school is still developing use of the software, Predebon said, and he said he any issues with it will eventually be worked out.