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Industrial decision-making on complex production technologies supported by simulation-based engineering

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ProTechTion (Industrial decision-making on complex production technologies supported by simulation-based engineering)

Période du rapport: 2020-03-01 au 2022-11-30

Simulation-based engineering, in which traditional research and development, design and production technologies are complemented with computer simulations, has revolutionized the industrial sector. Computer simulations are critical for control of manufacturing processes, non-destructive-testing and decision-making at production phases, and shorten the lead-time of design and development processes, thus reducing both costs and time-to-market. This applies to all industry sectors, all products and all markets. Simulation is embedded within the processes.

The technicalities of the simulation process create the need for highly qualified personnel able to perform the simulations in an accurate, effective and reliable way. These simulation-based engineering positions require multidisciplinary skills involving hard skills like engineering, applied mathematics, computer sciences and physics, and also soft-skill as they will need to communicate -understand, discuss, convince, agree- with experts of a wide range of fields, depending on the kind of area and product they are working with at a particular moment in time.

ProTechTion is a EU network aiming at training a new generation of leading simulation-based engineers. The training is multidisciplinar and tries to cover all those aspects and views required. That is only achievable by a large Consortium of 8 EU universities and 13 leading EU industrial companies that closely collaborate to design and implement the training programme.

The overarching objective of ProTechTion is to harness the full potential of multi-disciplinary SBE technology in industrial environments concerned with complex production processes. To this purpose, ProTechTion will form a multidisciplinary research and education network that unites relevant disciplines and stakeholders to (i) develop new computational paradigms, (ii) train a generation of experts in state-of-the-art simulation-based engineering technologies and cross-disciplinary skills, and (iii) bridge the knowledge transfer gap in multi-disciplinary simulation-based engineering.

The main objective of ProTechTion translates into the following research and training objectives:
• To train and empower a generation of experts in developing, together with the industrial researchers, innovative solutions for pressing Industrial Problems. These solutions will be based on industry-driven tailor-made computational simulation tools.
• To position European industry in the vanguard of simulation-based engineering, and reinforce and consolidate Europe’s worldwide leadership.
• To contribute with original research and innovations in simulation-based engineering in order to solve multidisciplinary problems with interdisciplinary tools arising from the proposed industrial problems for fast decision making.
• To cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit of the researchers and integrate transverse research skills with demonstrators (codes).
ProTechTion has a duration of 4 years. It aims at training 15 simulation-based engineers with expertise in diverse applications, tools and fields. ProTechTion is an ambitious project and its first challenge was to recruit the highest level Early Stage Researchers. The selection process was carefully designed and carried out during the first 6 months of the project.
Positions were carefully described and advertised.
Common criteria for the selection of all positions, and particular criteria for each one of them were detailed during the design of the recruitment process.

Once the early stage researchers were hired the technical training started. The first task was the formal definition of each one the industrial problems that will be tackled during ProTechTion. That means translating into a formal mathematical language the problems brought by the industrial partners. This involves getting some in-depth understanding of the problems, the current solutions if they exist
ProTechTion advances are mainly as planned. Early Stage Researchers have started on time and are following their Personal Career Development plans. These plans are revised yearly and adjusted based on the latest advances, their particular situations and the external constraints. So far they have taken training in technical topics and transversal topics. They have attended one school and will attend a second school this year (probably online due to covid19). They also have regular contact with the partner companies.

Technical results are advancing fine. More than 30 conference presentations have been done to explain the current results to the technical community and many journal articles are being written at the moment.