“Mega-trends like the move towards electrification, the rapid development of autonomous driving, shared mobility, & connectivity are among the topics that are top-of-mind for FISITA members.
FISITA’s strong leadership team creates more opportunities for pre-competitive collaboration around the world and strongly advocates for engineering education.”, says GM’s Executive Director of Global Virtual Design, Development and Validation.
Mike Anderson is Executive Director of Global Virtual Design, Development and Validation at General Motors. He also sits on the FISITA International Strategy Group and the Executive Board as FISITA President Elect.
At GM, Mike and his team are responsible for the computer-aided engineering (CAE) of every component, sub-system, and integration area of all current & future GM vehicles.
In this Q&A, Mike discusses the priority technical topics for FISITA members, the challenges and opportunities these present and how FISITA membership can help engineers to develop solutions.
Please could you outline your current role and responsibilities? When and why did you join FISITA, and what does your FISITA role involve?
As the president elect of FISITA, I work alongside the current president, Nadine Leclair, to support the executive board in developing member-driven strategies that grow FISITA’s positive impact on mobility engineering across the globe. I am relatively new to FISITA, so I’m excited to work with, and learn from, FISITA’s strong leadership team as we create more opportunities for pre-competitive collaboration around the world and strongly advocate for engineering education.
As a member-led organisation, what are the priority technical topics that members want FISITA to address?
I believe that mega-trends like the move towards electrification, the rapid development of autonomous driving, shared mobility, & connectivity are among the topics that are top-of-mind for our members. In addition, more than a year of remote work has driven significant changes in where we work and how we engineer products. For instance, I have personally seen a sharp increase in the usage and reliance on virtual tools to develop and even validate designs effectively while most of our engineering team has worked from home. Virtual engineering has enabled new insights and accelerated learning rates, so I expect it to continue to expand its impact well past the pandemic. As many of us progressively move to hybrid work location arrangements, I also think many of us are trying to figure out how to exploit some of the new advantages of remote approaches while reclaiming the essence of face-to-face interaction where appropriate.
What are the key challenges of these topics, and what opportunities do they present?
Inconsistency of regulations and policies around the world in areas like emissions & safety is an example of an existing challenge that could propagate further into our priority emerging technical areas like autonomous. In addition, the learnings from working and collaborating remotely for the past year will permanently impact how professional societies and FISITA deliver value and how that value is defined. I believe the membership and mission of FISITA are uniquely aligned to address challenges like these, and others, which presents us with new opportunities.
What role can FISITA membership play in helping engineers develop these solutions?
I believe FISITA’s technology clusters are well-aligned with our members’ priorities and we need to continue to be agile as new challenges and opportunities arise. I am excited about how FISITA has already quickly pivoted to initiate a cluster around the semiconductor shortage, expand on its international connected communities, deliver more content digitally, and reimagine how we conference virtually. We will need to continue to apply what we learn about the evolution of operation in the mobility business to FISITA itself to ensure we maximize our effectiveness and growth.
What can FISITA members look forward to in the coming period?
The impact of the pandemic on the mobility business has been disparate across countries and regions whereas challenges like the chip shortage is affecting the industry globally. I think the volatility of these headwinds combined with the rapid and exciting development of new technologies makes collaboration in FISITA more valuable than ever as we all try to envision and prepare for our future.
How can non-members get involved?
FISITA has a number of collaborative activities such as panel discussions, conferences, & white papers that involve members and non-members alike. We always welcome insightful perspectives and domain expertise from anyone that can offer it. Of course, we also hope that as non-members engage in these activities and find value, they will be inspired to become members and reap all the benefits FISITA has to offer.
Anyone interested in FISITA membership can contact my FISITA colleague Kelly Williams to find out more.