A nonprofit STEM promoter will use new funding from Dassault Systèmes’ U.S. Foundation to launch a pilot workforce development initiative in the next few months aimed at training the next generation of engineers with skills most in-demand by aerospace, high-tech and transportation industries.
Base 11, a nonprofit based in Costa Mesa, California, will use a grant from Dassault’s foundation to train community college students in the collaborative 3-D design at the University of California, Irvine’s Samueli School of Engineering. Students in the pilot program will work on a drone project to learn engineering design platforms used by large employers such as Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Tesla, Honda, HP and IBM.
The Dassault foundation grant “will accelerate our ability to empower our academic partners with the tools and resources they need to transform high-potential, low-resource students into 21st-century STEM leaders,” said Base 11 CEO Landon Taylor.
“This workforce development initiative by Base 11 speaks to the huge demand for trained talent that we’re hearing from employers,” said President Al Bunshaft of The Dassault Systèmes U.S. Foundation. “This will offer a solution for employers, while simultaneously changing the lives of underserved students and their communities.”
In 2015, Base 11 funded an adaptation of the Samueli School’s Autonomous Systems Engineering Academy into an eight-week residency. The initial group of students completed that program in mid-2016, Base 11 said. The new program will build on that one, in which students worked on hands-on, interactive mini-projects to learn the basics of aerospace design, computer-aided design, 3-D printing, basic electronics and fabrication techniques.
In the first phase of the initiative, funded by The Dassault Systèmes U.S. Foundation, the process of designing the drone will be enhanced by access to and training on 3-D design platforms used by engineers at major corporations.
Base 11 plans to expand the curriculum in 2018 into a full academic year, college credit-bearing engineering course at three community college campuses in Orange County, California, San Francisco and Phoenix.