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Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - ISE Department is Pioneering PLM Education

Dr. Patrick Hillberg, an Oakland University adjunct faculty member and a Solution Architect for Siemens PLM Inc., is currently teaching a new Project Lifecycle Management (PLM) class in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department.

Hillberg has 30 years of experience working with PLM, digital manufacturing, process planning, robotics and machine vision applications in the aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding, construction and packaging industries.

The PLM class is part of a collaboration between Siemens and ISE department that began with $46 million of in-kind Siemens PLM software grants made in 2011 and 2012. The PLM class primarily uses Siemens PLM Software’s Teamcenter portfolio and NX software.

Hillberg said he enjoys teaching the class.

“I am getting very positive feedback from the students,” he said. “This is the first time I’ve taught a course on any level, and I confess I was a little nervous the first day. I was pretty happy when all of my students returned the second week.”

The class contains undergraduate and graduate students from the ISE program and the Engineering Management program. Many of the students have full time jobs, and are able to bring their own experience to the other students in the class.

“This year the class is being taught as a traditional course on Saturday mornings, with lecture and lab,” Hillberg said. “The lectures are developed from the text ‘Virtually Perfect,’ by Dr. Michael Grieves, and my own experience as a Solution Architect for Siemens PLM.

We’ve also been fortunate to have some guest lecturers, including Dr. Grieves himself, as well as colleagues from Siemens PLM,” he continued. “Next year I plan to move the course online. The topic lends itself to an online course, and it better suits the busy lives of both me and my students. As an online course, we won’t be limited to Saturday mornings.”

According to ISE Professor and Chair Dr. Robert Van Til, Oakland University has never had a class like this one, and very few universities have similar classes. Many universities teach specific aspects of product development, such as Computer-Aided Design (CAD), but few teach the full product lifecycle.

“The ISE department is working to make PLM part of the foundation of our programs in ISE and Engineering Management” Van Til said.

“I expect that more universities will be teaching this in the near future, but right now Oakland University is a pioneer in PLM education,” Hillberg said.