Congress on the Future of Engineering Software 2019 Begins in Silicon Valley

Industry leaders gather for annual COFES event on engineering software for product and building design.

Industry leaders gather for annual COFES event on engineering software for product and building design.

The COFES Institute is welcoming attendees to the opening of the 20th annual Congress on the Future of Engineering Software (COFES). COFES runs from April 7 to 10 and for the first time is being held in Silicon Valley, CA.

The think-tank event gathers vendors, users, press and analysts to discuss the most important issues facing both customers and providers of engineering technologies for product and building design. Industry leaders attend COFES for the content delivered by experts and the informal discussions and connections that are made.

“COFES is more relevant than ever,” said Pete Wells, COFES Institute Board Chairman. “Product and design complexity is increasing, at an accelerating rate. How the software industry supports designers of products and buildings is central to the mission of COFES. To support our mission, the COFES Institute is led by a Board of Directors and assisted by a Board of Advisors made up of seasoned professionals from the industry.”

This year’s COFES theme is the convergence of technologies and the implications for software in design and engineering. Convergence is happening quickly, the COFES Institute says. These technologies present tremendous opportunities for the products and buildings of tomorrow. However, design teams are struggling to keep up. Converging technologies such as additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, augmented reality/virtual reality, generative design, the Internet of Things, machine learning and cloud computing enable possibilities that were not imagined before. This is creating a new reality for design teams.

At the conference Microsoft is sharing insights regarding the possibilities the cloud can bring to companies for competitive advantages when it comes to software solutions for design and manufacturing. The Dell keynote will be delivered by Curtis Schwebke, vice president and software CTO of Dell’s Client Innovation Group. The keynote will focus on new technology from Google (PWA) for developing industrial strength web applications suitable for the COFES audience of design, manufacturing and AEC. 

Rounding out the keynotes will be Elizabeth Baron, the principal inventor of the Ford Immersive Vehicle Environment (FiVE) process and technology and founder of Immersionary Enterprises.

In addition to the keynotes, COFES 2019 is packed with breakout sessions led by industry experts on topics associated around the theme of technology convergence.

This year, COFES is also exploring new areas of focus that could extend beyond the current theme. One consideration is women in engineering. There will be a panel discussion led by women who have made an impact in the field. According to the National Science Foundation, overall, women have higher college graduation rates compared to men. However, men disproportionately outnumber women in the number of science and engineering degrees received. The purpose of the panel is to begin the discussion on how COFES can contribute to bringing diversity into the field.

A new segment added this year is The Game Changers Challenge. This “Shark Tank” style rapid-fire session will feature eight start-ups in the engineering/manufacturing software space, which range from concept to shipping product. Participants are being judged by a panel of experts. 

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