Southeast Asia Research Network: Digital Engineering (SEAR DE)

German research organizations are increasingly interested in outstanding Southeast Asian institutions as partners for collaboration in the fields of education and research. Bilateral know-how, technology transfer and staff exchange as well as the resultant opportunities for collaboration are strategically important in terms of research and economics. Therefore, the establishment of a joint research structure in the field of digital engineering is being pursued in the project “SEAR DE Thailand” under the lead management of Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg (OvGU) in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation (IFF) and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) in Thailand.

Car with mechanic

© Dirk Mahler/ Fraunhofer IFF

Scientific Background

Digital engineering is the complete integrated support of all industrial processes throughout the product life cycle with the aid of digital methods and tools. Digital data models (CAD; FEM simulation and software models) of products, which have been created during development, serve as the basis for this. Digital engineering aims to implement the data models also created in the subsequent phases of the product life cycle. Digital engineering is, thus, the logical continuation of virtual engineering.

Digital engineering cuts the time and expenses required for the development, start-up and production of machinery, plants and products. It makes it possible to continue using digital product data profitably to manage the entire product life cycle, e.g., staff training with virtual interactive learning scenarios, technical marketing or documentation.

Project and Objectives

The primary objective of the project “SEAR DE” is the establishment of a sustainable, collaborative partnership between Germany and Thailand in the field of digital engineering. To this end, three key priorities are being pursued:

  • Technology transfer: institutionalization/establishment of a national center of excellence in digital engineering in Thailand
  • Sustainable transfer of expertise by collaborating on qualification and education
  • Initiation and completion of bilateral research and development projects with the involvement of industry partners

Aspects of Research Structure

The establishment of a joint research structure is divided into two phases. Priorities in the first phase will be the analysis of demand, the preparation and initiation of qualification actions, networking with local research and industry partners and the establishment of a laboratory for digital engineering.

The priority in the second phase will be the sustainable development of bilateral collaboration. Joint research and development projects will be initiated and completed with the involvement of the public and private sector. A joint degree program in the field of digital engineering will develop expertise in the long term.

Funded in the context of the BMBF funding programme to establish joint research structures of German universities with partners in APRA. More information on APRA.