Thursday, January 12, 2012

Organizing Ideas

This is in the main hall of the IDL building.  It talks about the PLM project with PTC, of which I am a part.

So I've been introduced to a lot of paths and ideas so far this week that I could go on for my EngD programme.  On Monday, I met with one of my advisors, Jay Bal and we discussed some ideas about open source hardware design, what it means and places to start investigating what is being done in that area.  A sub-area of that is the area of e-learning, looking at different models that work, testing drivers that motivate people to learn and succeed, and recognizing different drivers for different groups of individuals.  

On Wednesday night, I got to have dinner with the CTO of the Delta Wing Team, Ben Bowlby, who along with being a leader in motorsports design, is very interesting in looking at ways to apply the open source hardware design ideas and processes to the area of motorsports, to help make the innovation in this field more efficient and creative.  Today, I met Tim Brotherhood from PTC, my sponsoring company that is mentioned in the above picture from the IDL building, and was able to have a conference call with several individuals from WMG and PTC about discussion ideas and directive for my EngD.  What was mainly discussed today was PTC's involvement for over the past decade in a global education program that is working to motivate and rigorously education future scientists and engineers through educational outreach.   One of the projects that Tim was working with was a Real World Design Challenge, which is an engineering competition for high school aged students in the US.  Other projects I can and may look at are the Formula One SAE design competition that is taking place at Warwick, as well as the Electric Vehicle Grand Prix, which Warwick participated in last year, hosted at Purdue.  So, a lot of ideas, centered around education, open source hardware design and product life cycle management.  I am currently trying to get all these inputs organized for a meeting tomorrow to try to solidify a direction (know that it is likely to evolve and change, as is the case with a doctorate degree) and get started in a preliminary direction.  

This degree program, rather than being one big dissertation for me, will be made up of several case studies and ideas, unified by a central theme, which I think will be good to allow me to explore my many interests, especially around education and improving efficiency, while finding connectors throughout.  I'm sure I'll have a better understanding of all of this over the next few weeks, but this is where I'm starting this week.

I haven't forgotten about my colleagues and mentors back at IUPUI either.  The educational side of this project can have some neat project ideas for international collaboration in the future, I think, based on what I know they are working on there.  Purdue already has the Center of Excellence for PLM, which is why they are also a key player on board here.  

As far as living in the UK is going!  I am enjoying public transportation as much as one can, though I am looking forward to getting a bike soon.  The bus isn't bad, even with having to wait, though I may want to invest in a bus pass eventually.

I've been enjoying cultural discussions in the office as well, as I come to realize that I am one of many two or three Americans in all of WMG. (And I haven't met another American yet).  I am really grateful to all the input and advice I am getting from Stuart, Tom, James, Ruth and Kerry.  :)  I still really really love it here, I love the weather and the people and the food !  (Yes, the food has been pretty good!).  I will blog at some point about Stuart's sports passions, as he has shared much of that with me and it's pretty interesting.  

Ok, that's about all for now, I hope everyone is all caught up!
Post again soon!

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