One of the hardest parts of starting a new job is getting up to speed – especially in engineering, where new employees are often thrown into an ongoing project alongside colleagues who have been working on it for months or even years. But as Steve Eicher, a recent graduate of University of California Los Angeles, and new engineer at Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, has discovered, new methods are making that transition much easier.
Digital engineering has leveled the playing field by providing everyone on a project the same information at every point in the process – a “single source of truth” that provides the entire team with a complete, on-demand reference guide. It also plays to the strengths of new engineers who are just entering the workforce – a generation of natural innovators who are eager to develop disruptive technology.
"It's new, fun and fulfilling," Eicher said.
New RI&S engineers are discovering that digital engineering can show them how one small design change can affect cost and schedule many years into the future. Through the use of a “digital thread,” RI&S is moving toward connecting multiple pieces of a system’s lifecycle: design, testing, manufacturing and operations.
“Digital engineering is changing the way we work, dramatically,” said Joe Campagna, senior manager, Protected Communication Systems for RI&S. “The new ecosystem we’re building is collaborative and really allows engineers to do engineering.”
Digital engineering is also ideal for experimentation. Through the use of digital twins – accurate virtual versions of real-world systems – engineers can test out their ideas without worry that they’ll damage physical equipment or cause some other costly setback. They make small changes and immediately understand what kind of effect it could have on a part of a product or the cost of a component. It also allows for increased opportunities to customize products, and, through data analysis, finding new solutions for problems.