The automobile industry stands on the brink of a shift towards autonomous, electric and connected technologies. The transition promises to disrupt the auto industry while creating a pool of career opportunities for the coming generation.
The current dynamics call for a robust intervention of technology into the curriculum, which is the way forward to bridging the industry-academia gap. This is where institutions offering industry-ready courses come into the picture with well-thought coursework that teaches the required skills to help budding engineers penetrate the market.
Highlighting the same, Suryanarayanan Paneerselvam, Co-Founder & CEO, SkillLync told Express Mobility, in an exclusive interaction, “We are taking that coursework to academia and therefore the biggest challenge to address is that a lot of students do not have exposure to what are the available jobs options.”
Quoting a report statement, Surya said, “A recent study read that students in India are still in a mad rush and want to become computer science engineers. The primary reason that people move towards a handful of known courses which according to them are the means to a better career, is because of the exposure. This is why there is a need to create that sort of awareness amongst the youth.”
Ironically, these are the times when the Indian infrastructure is growing at a fast pace and there is a demand for professionals who can render the required contributions in the all-pervasive digital era.
“We are at a very critical point where we have the demography. India graduates almost 25 percent of the world’s engineers. If all these engineers are in multiple streams of engineering, India will become a talent partner to the world, provided we make sure these engineers are equipped with the right skills,” Surya adds.
The age which demands an ‘integrated’ approach
Gone are the days when the auto industry, used to have engineers with specific specialisations. The last decade has seen a significant transfiguration and amalgamation of electrical, electronics and mechanical engineering to ‘mechatronics’ is what the current scenario looks like.
Talking about the shift from ICE vehicles to EVs and the need for an all-integrated coursework Surya explains, “Electrical/Electronics engineers are needed to build a core aspect – the embedded systems, model-based development, work on the chips and all the components essentially go on to hardware.”
“Mechanical engineers need to understand the engines to design vehicles. Now they need to also understand the electrical and electronic components of a vehicle to understand and build components for that particular build.”
Further differentiating the changing parameter Surya points out, “Now, the heat is generated, but it is generated through batteries. So the understanding of how batteries generate heat and the vibrations since there are no moving parts, the vibrations are lesser. So understanding the electrical and electronic components is the need of the hour for a mechanical engineer. Also, they need to have the skills of a mechanical engineer at the same time since you can’t build components without mechanical engineers, but the intersection of probably will serve the purpose.”
‘Digital Engineering’ is emerging as the new flourishing career option with immense scope. Digital engineers simulate physics even before implementation, put simply, they are the people who have an intersection of probably two or three types of engineering.
“A digital engineer needs to make sure that he understands not only the physics but can essentially simulate the physics using a particular tool before implementing that into the vehicle,” he adds.
“From drawings to simulations and 3D models, engineers are increasingly using advanced technologies to capture data and craft design in a digitised environment. Through progressive applications, the art of digital engineering enables designers to explore possibilities and develop innovative solutions in a virtual environment,” Surya adds charting out the changing scope of opportunities.
The digital transformation is here to stay, this perhaps can supplement and enhance the entire process but the fundamentals of engineering remain the same apart from being aided with the digital tools.
In the bid to continuously evolve as an industry, disruption to traditional practices tend to yield to newer technologies and eventually be replaced with better versions. The demand for skilled professionals will, however, continue.
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