Future-Proofing the Engineering Industry During COVID-19

Posted: 24th February, 2021

Julien de Beer, Head of Portfolio Management, AVEVA

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, companies across the board have been forced to rethink businesses processes, adapt to changing market needs and adopt new technology. By re-evaluating their projects, many have discovered an entirely new and more efficient way of engineering. Businesses are not just thinking about existing capabilities, but also how innovative technologies can to future-proof the sector – particularly in light of unprecedented disruption.

A Unified Vision for the Future

As we look ahead to the future of engineering, AVEVA’s Education Programme is one way in which we are helping to introduce the world of academia to real-life applications. We have already seen significant changes in the industry this year, with remote teams undoubtedly requiring better context to supervise operations, collaborate, and make decisions in complex environments. That said, now is the best time for AVEVA to be supporting graduates with internships that give real insight into AVEVA operations.

There is a greater need for graduate students – and indeed the new generation of STEM talent – to use tools that enable better visualization and contextual analysis of operating information across an enterprise, all to avoid the risk of unplanned disruption and downtime. As operations start to become increasingly autonomous and remote, ensuring the reliability and safe operation of critical assets with minimal supervision becomes more important than ever before. In order to achieve the best results, we believe in taking a unified approach with technology as we look to empower the next generation, ready to reshape the future.

The Power of Process Simulation

With efficiency in the engineering sector largely enabled by process simulation tools that lie at the core of a ‘new wave’ of engineering, our recently launched AVEVA Process Simulation Competition will also give students the opportunity to utilize one single model for the entire asset lifecycle with AVEVA’s Process Simulation tool. Senior students will be faced with a challenge that involves progressing from a steady state simulation, to optimization and finally dynamics.  Using an equation-oriented solver approach AVEVA Process Simulation allows students to easily explore the degrees of freedom and see which design specifications are interchangeable.

AVEVA Process Simulation is an example of a tool that covers the entire process engineering lifecycle, encompassing design, rating and dynamic mode. As manufacturing and oil and gas plants become more integrated, engineering challenges have become more complex. And with companies also bringing a greater number of products to market, one central, unified tool is needed to manage entire plant operations.

For many, these technologies bring a breath of fresh air to the industry. Unexpected challenges often arise from outdated software and historical limitations of legacy software, yet modern cloud-driven process engineering platforms offer a visible and responsive experience that can quickly adapt to change. However, it is not only the pressures brought by COVID-19 that is accelerating the rate of change.

The next generation of engineers – particularly those entering the AVEVA Process Simulation Competition 2021 have the opportunity to further their knowledge and skills in process simulation requested for any future engineer. 

Looking Ahead to The Next Generation

At AVEVA, we are committed to partnering with academia for the pursuit of research and education. It is our responsibility as engineers to empower upcoming industry talent for the digital experience, and as a result, the program supports the relationship between education institutions and wider industry.

Future proofing the engineering industry is a subject that was recently covered by Julien de Beer at the 2020 AIChE Annual Conference held virtually this year. To learn more about the AVEVA Academic Program, visit this webpage.

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