DETI – The Centre for Digital Engineering, Technology and Innovation

Technology’s changing, faster than we’ve
ever known it before but if we don’t keep up with it and we don’t maximise
those opportunities, it’ll pass us by. DETI is an initiative around creating
digital skills for engineering, helping re-engineer the engineering process. To drive that agenda, we need to bring together these research and practising communities from different sectors, to be able to achieve
the best possible outcomes for our fields. There are really three aims of DETI,
first one is to encourage a wider diversity of people to get
involved with engineering, secondly it’s to provide the skills and capabilities
for engineers of the future, and the third one is to upskill engineers
that are already there with some of the new skills and techniques that they need going forward. It’s all about pulling together the right people with the right skills, the right capability,
but giving them the right tools and processes to do innovative things to
meet these future challenges. The South West is a very very key part of the
UK in terms of its advanced engineering capability. We have a great blend of academic institutions developing some of the core technologies, we have great companies that are developing future products in their markets and DETI brings all of that together. If I take the example of a large composite
component for an Airbus wing, where digitalisation will play a part in the
future is using the data that we create during the manufacture of the component, to then flow through the assembly and the test process and really digitalisation can provide that thread
that joins the whole process together. What the digital environment can offer is an opportunity to simulate a lot of the factory planning in the digital environment and then that can be
implemented into the physical environment. AECOM’s developed the first 3D
printed large-scale structure to support the digital signalling system
for Transport for London. The major benefit from switching to a digital technique, the public will actually have a much quicker service brought to them sooner than what would be through traditional methods and technologies. We need to do this now because if we don’t,
we’ll have missed the boat. DETI is the vehicle that will allow us to
understand what digital means and what digital technologies can
lead to amongst manufacturers. There are real step changes required in the
automotive sector, in aerospace, in energy generation. What we can achieve together is far greater than what any one individual business will be able to achieve on their own and DETI can help to provide a catalyst for those developments that we will need for the future.

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