Aerospace & defenseAugust 4, 2023

Developing critical skills for next-gen aerospace workers

Avatar Amber Hickman

By the time our next generation of aerospace engineers enters the workforce, the industry will have undergone its most fundamental transformation since the arrival of the internet. Disruptive technologies such as virtual twins, artificial intelligence, data-driven manufacturing and sustainable design are driving changes and reshaping how we design, test, build and maintain aircraft and more. After a few challenging years due to the pandemic, supply chain difficulties and geopolitical events, the job market for aerospace & defense workers is now projected to grow globally by 6% in the next several years.

At the International Paris Air Show in June, Dassault Systèmes shone the spotlight on the challenges that will be faced by a new generation of workers; particularly on how they can adapt, learn new skills and develop the knowledge required to keep pace with rapidly changing technology and increasing prioritization of sustainability.

3DEXPERIENCE Edu helps lifelong learners, from young people to professionals in the current workforce by developing new skills curriculum and partnering with industry and academic institutions to deliver what is required for success as aerospace and defense workers.


Skills wanted for sustainable innovation was the theme of a roundtable discussion led by Valérie Ferret, Vice President, 3DEXPERIENCE Edu, along with a panel of global industry and academic leaders. “We have undergone a lot of strong transformation with sustainable innovation, with digitization, and more than ever it’s important that both academic and industry leaders come together to fill the gaps and develop the right skills to lead the transformation.”

Students must now have an excellent grasp of how sustainability issues affect people, our planet, and the global economy. In the aerospace and defense sector, the focus is on using sustainable materials and alternative fuels.

Panelists discussed new initiatives and innovative teaching practices to help students develop virtual twin technology skills and become proficient in using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and applications while maintaining sustainability goals. The panel also demonstrated the importance of strategic partnerships between academic institutions and industry.

“The idea is to inform young people of the available jobs in this industry,” said panelist Philippe Conny from Lycée Jean Perrin in Marseille, France, one of a group of public general, technical and vocational schools aiming to support the next generation of engineers. “There are innovative jobs that offer an interesting career.”

Accelerating digital transformation

A highlight of the event was the partnership signing between Dassault Systèmes and the ISAE Group, comprised of six leading aerospace engineering schools in France. This partnership will see the 3DEXPERIENCE platform integrated into ISAE Group’s training programs for 7,000 students. “ISAE plays a key role in the training ecosystem in France.  Our partnership will enable us to create a strong link between this ecosystem and aerospace industry manufacturers, thanks to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” said Florence Verzelen, Executive Vice President, Industry, Marketing & Sustainability, Dassault Systèmes.  “The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is widely deployed across the industry.  It provides an innovative and dynamic learning environment specially adapted to the scale of a network of schools for leveraging and sharing best practices in teaching.”

ISAE Group and Dassault Systèmes sign a strategic partnership to provide access to the skills and tools necessary to thrive in engineering careers.

“The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a fantastic opportunity for us to collaborate more between the different schools,” said Thomas Zamolo, professor and collaborative platform director, ISAE-SUPAERO. The partnership will help develop school curriculums, establish certification programs and aid students in their industry journeys. Read the full story here.

New Edu Centers of Excellence

Not only is it critical to develop the right curriculum, it needs to be available to learners. The 3DEXPERIENCE Edu Centers of Excellence are physical facilities run by selected Dassault Systèmes partners, where industry specific 3DEXPERIENCE knowledge and know-how are combined with their own expertise to provide learners with beginner or continuing education programs. They welcome students and educators who are inspired to discover new skills needed in an immersive way.

Dassault Systèmes announced an expansion of the program by signing new strategic partnership agreements including one with Cranfield University, for the first 3DEXPERIENCE Edu Center of Excellence in the UK.

Courses will be designed in collaboration with aerospace employers and partners of the university, including Airbus, GKN, Vertical Aerospace and Rolls-Royce, and will be delivered by platform-certified instructors.

“We are hoping with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and the Centers of Excellence to be able to move into the next generation of what is important from our industrial partners and the requirements for the industry,” said Jafar Jamshidi, senior lecturer in Integrated Product Development at Cranfield University. “That definitely for us is a key enabler in order to fulfill the requirement of what is important in the aerospace industry and the expectation in terms of the skills of our graduates.”

Additional partnership agreements were signed with:

  • CIIA  (Industrial Innovation Center for the Aerospace Sector) and CIDI are learning centers established as part of a national program of the Mexican Federal Government and have 4 major locations: CIIA Baja California, Tijuana,  CIIA Del Bajio, located in Aguascalientes,  CIIA Tlalnepantla, in the State of Mexico and  CIDI, located in Puebla. 
  • ESTIA (Institute of Advanced Industrial Technologies) is a school associated with the ISAE group, operates various engineering programs and provides strong 3DEXPERIENCE expertise to their students and to the aerospace industry, especially, through its centers for composite and for additive manufacturing.
  • Jules Verne Manufacturing Academy  (JVMA), is a learning factory shared by multiple higher and vocational institutions in Nantes, France, and is unique in that they display activities in engineering and manufacturing in an integrated digital continuity. 

Discover more

Watch some of our highlights from the Paris Air Show.

Learn more about 3DEXPERIENCE Edu programs at Dassault Systèmes

Discover the Aerospace & Defense industry at Dassault Systèmes

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