Agenda: Saturday, April 3, 2004


Sponsored by Océ-USA

Morning Kickoff
Your hosts set the stage for the day’s activities. 
Keynote: Peter Marks

Peter Marks
Design Insight

Engineering in an Outsourced World

Peter Marks has been one of our favorite keynote speakers. Attendees at the first COFES heard him predict the bomb – and explain the customer buying reasons why and more importantly how to respond – at the height of the craze. Now, he’s taking on the future of engineering at a time when manufacturing, engineering, and even engineering software companies are being “outsourced.”

You might have heard Wellington’s classic (1900) definition of engineering as “ . . . doing well with one dollar what any bungler can do with two dollars.” In the century since, engineering has refined the products and structures around us, reducing costs while improving quality and performance. It’s been an incredible run.

The problem is, engineering (and thus engineering software) is becoming less relevant in a world where low cost manufacturers make “good-enough” facsimiles for a fraction (sometimes 10%) of the cost. Witness today’s sorry response to “PLM.” It turns out the future of engineering is more closely linked to the future of manufacturing (or construction) than we might care to think.

To better understand the future, we’ll start with the three main strategies for manufacturing execution and their implications for engineering. The parallels are equally clear, though the conclusions somewhat different, for AEC. And is there light ahead? Among Marks’ conclusions, two of the three successful manufacturing strategies require new kinds of engineering software at the front end. Furthermore, this software is now at a stage of maturity about where “CAD” was in 1980 – proven in principle but with lots of work and opportunity ahead. Join us in this insightful look at the future of engineering and engineering software.
Keynote: Mike Tanner

Mike Tanner
The Chasm Group
 Sponsored by The CAD Society
Discussions, Roundtables, and Appointments
We have set up rooms for meetings with a tight focus directed at specific groups of attendees. These 90-minute focused discussions surround a secluded poolside meeting place along with  the vendors' Technology-Suites.
Discussions and Roundtables   Vendor Appointments
Meeting rooms set up in suites around the pool, each with a different issue to discuss. Also, meetings among common groups.

Cyon Research is currently conducting research on user issues in engineering and design. That research forms the basis for the issue topics for these group discussions.

User Group Roundtable - Meeting among representatives of major user groups to discuss common issues and providing customer benefit. Representatives from boards of COE, PLM World, PTC/USER, AUGI, etc.

High-performance computing: Who needs it? - 64-bit computing is here. Grid computing is moving into the mainstream. Who cares? You will -- sooner than you think.  

Communicating with 3D - 2D drawings remain the main form of communication between designers and producers (builders or manufacturing people), but the use of 3D in both manufacturing and AEC has increased dramatically, and continues to grow.  Many enabling technologies and formats (JT, XVL, PDF/E, DWF, eDrawings, etc.) are competing to help 3D replace 2D as a primary communication form. How many winning formats do we need?

The whole enchilada: BIM and PLM - The building information model and its PLM counterpart rest on supporting technologies—industry foundation classes, XML, and others. A consensus is growing that the all-in-one life-cycle model is now feasible, in both AEC and MFG. Is it? And if it is, what factors are preventing the immediate wholesale adoption of these modeling approaches? How does it play in the real world?

Implications of Wireless and RFID in AEC and MFG - Wireless on the factory floor and on the construction site allows us continuous access everywhere. RFIDs allow us to track everything individually. What are the opportunities and implications? What do we need to worry about?

Challenges of knowledge capture, management, and use - “Everybody talkin’ ‘bout heaven ain’t goin’ there,” said the song. And everyone talking about knowledge, its capture, refinement, validation, management, and re-use is not doing much about it, either. Why? What makes it so hard—especially when the potential payoff is so great?

Further out: Implications of accelerating change - Extrapolation is the only consistent mechanism we have for looking forward, and it is useful, as far as it goes; we can count on ten-fold computing performance/price increases every four years or so. What we can't predict is its impact. So what can we predict? How do we prepare for unforeseeable discontinuities?

Fostering innovation - Why does most innovation occur in small startup companies? Is there an infrastructure problem that holds large firms back from innovation? Is there a way around it? Can we apply lessons learned from the movie business to software innovation? Take a look at Bill Buxton's article on the topic at and bring your thoughts on the issue to this discussion.

COFES2004 will set up appointments in the Technology-Suites for attendees, based on the information you provide in the registration form, to match you with the suites that hold the technologies and companies that will interest you. Your schedule will be given to you when you arrive. There are a limited number of pre-assigned appointments. During the Thursday evening reception you will have the opportunity to expand your schedule.

The following vendors will have Technology-Suites at COFES2004:

Appointment times:


Lunch will be served in the Technology Suites for the 12:30 appointments


Lunch Keynote: Jeff Harrow
Jeff Harrow
The Harrow Group
Nanofactories, Inorganic And Not -- Tiny/Huge Future Opportunities For Engineering Software

Today, most engineering software helps build and control things at the macroscopic level—building buildings, creating and running chemical process control facilities, and more.  But as NBIC (the coming together of Nanotechnology, Biology & medicine, Information Sciences, and Cognitive sciences) work to enable us to build things from the atomic and molecular levels, upwards, it's going to require Engineering Software of a very different scale...
Discussions and Roundtables

Similar to the morning sessions, with different topics.

Designing tools for the weird and wonderful - New technologies like MEMS, nanotechnology, and genetic programming are making do with the current generation of CAD and other software tools. Who will create the next generation of tools to support these and newer technologies? Are the traditional CAD/PLM vendors capable of moving into those spaces? 

Advancing collaboration - How we work together depends in some measure on the shared environments we can easily create and participate in. With the certainty of increasing compute power and bandwidth, what can we see about the changing nature of collaboration for engineering and construction professionals? What will be the impact on innovation? On productivity? On design quality?

Educating the next generation - Ask any architect or engineer—graduates of our current education system haven't a clue how the real world works. Schools teach theory, not reality. Add to that an accelerating pace of change—how can schools keep up? What's worse, engineering, construction, manufacturing, and other trades are not attracting our best and brightest students. What can we do about these problems? How do we make a difference?

The engineering desktop of the future - How long will the desktop metaphor continue to make sense for designers and engineers? How far are we from Apple's vision of the Knowledge Navigator, and is that still the target?   What is possible? What should we expect?

Corporate IT vs. Engineering IT - In many organizations, engineering IT is a thorn in the side of the corporate IT group. The needs of the enterprise and of design/engineering/production are quite different. What are the political issues, economic, and technical implications of merging the two groups?

Implications of advancing simulation to the desktop - Simulation is the end of CAD—not the terminus, but the purpose, the fulfillment; CAD becomes fully expressed in simulation.  Simulation can also be the beginning of CAD. When analysis and simulation are moved to the schematic phase of design, there is an opportunity to affect the final product in a manner that isn't possible at later stages. What is required to push simulation to the beginning? What are the implications and constraints?

Direct digital-to-manufacturing: Where is desktop manufacturing going and what does it change? - Rapid iteration, rapid prototyping, testable prototypes, direct manufacturing—where is it all going? And if we're serious about going directly from the model to manufacturing, we're going to have to get away from a geometry-centered model and move towards one that focuses on all aspects of the product to be manufactured. What are the implications of product-centric models as opposed to geometry-centric models? 

Semantic Technologies - Semantic technologies allow the meaning of information and their associations to be precisely expressed and processed in heterogeneous environments. Can the recently announced W3C OWL (Ontology Web Language) standard be the answer for PLM interoperability? Can Semantic engines drive the knowledge hubs that will span product lifecycle activities? How can the current generation of CAD/ PLM take advantage of semantic technologies? Where is this work already happening? 

 Sponsored by The CAD Society
Second Congress: The Business of Design and Engineering

This working congress is an open forum for examining the issues surrounding technologies expected to have an impact on design and engineering before 2010. The purpose of these discussions is to form a consensus on the issues faced, consider approaches, and promote further dialog.

On Friday we explored what is on the horizon for engineering software and how it will affect us. Saturday's Congress brings the discussion back to the reality of the business issues that face us today and the preparations we need to make to be ready for an ever-changing future.

Mechanical and Manufacturing Congress   AEC Congress


Moderated by

Joel Orr
Cyon Research


Moderated by

Brad Holtz
Cyon Research

 Sponsored by Hewlett-Packard
Cyon Research Annual Report
 Your host, Cyon Research Corporation, will present its annual report on the engineering software industry.
7:00 -
Dinner and Awards
Dinner and  the closing session of COFES2004, and The CAD Society Industry Awards. Music afterwards.