As the CEO for the SIMULIA brand of Dassault Systèmes, Scott Berkey is responsible for all aspects of strategy and global business operations. Dassault SystèmesSIMULIA provides Simulation for Product, Nature, and Life that powers sustainable innovation. The brand’s software is used by leading universities, research organizations, and manufacturers to simulate and improve quality, reliability, and safety.
Prior to becoming CEO, Scott was Vice President of SIMULIA Worldwide Sales Operations. Previously, he served as CEO of Axentis, Inc., which developed software for managing enterprise governance, risk, and compliance. Scott served as President and CEO at Proficiency Ltd, a software company for product data integration and engineering collaboration, and he has also held executive-level positions at SDRC.
Mr. Berkey has an extensive background in engineering technology and enterprise collaboration. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in applied science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. Its world-leading solutions transform the way products are designed, produced, and supported. Dassault Systèmes’ collaborative solutions foster social innovation, expanding possibilities for the virtual world to improve the real world. The group brings value to over 210, 000 customers of all sizes, in all industries, in more than 140 countries.
Competitiveness starts with having access to an educated and skilled workforce. By helping young students learn how to work in teams, how to develop problem-solving skills, and how to use advanced technology we will be preparing them to develop innovative ideas that enhance competitiveness.
These educational opportunities are now time-critical, as our current baby-boomer workforce is rapidly entering retirement age. It will take all of us, working together, to ensure that we are providing hands-on experience and educational opportunities for our young people. If we gain the academic edge, we will achieve stronger competitiveness as a nation.
Kids are naturally drawn to things that buzz, beep, fly, and roll. So we have to start by reaching them as early as possible. By teaching them ‘how things work,’ during their formative stages of curiosity and learning, we will be able to inspire them to further their education with STEM-related activities.
We must break through the barriers of gender and socio-economics. This means encouraging girls to get involved with STEM programs and bringing STEM activities to inner-city schools. We need mentors who are able to guide and support these students throughout their academic careers. In addition, we have to make the learning activities fun and rewarding through hands-on experiences
We support STEM education through community outreach, grants, and volunteering. We have created a STEM committee that reviews the opportunities, makes recommendations, and calls upon the skills and knowledge of our employees to volunteer their time in introducing students to STEM concepts and careers.
In 2015, our SIMULIA brand funded five local projects including: Teachers at Dassault Systèmes, (TADS), Brown University’s SPIRA Engineering Camp, Inspiring Minds, Save the Bay, and the Providence after School Alliance. Our employees also volunteered to support an additional 14 STEM-related activities, such as GRRL Tech Workshop, Hour of Code, and STEM in the Middle. We believe that parents play a key role and need to be involved in guiding their children’s interests in STEM. To support this idea we recently held a workshop in our offices for our employees to bring their children to participate in STEM learning projects.
We are most proud of the “Teachers at Dassault Systèmes” (TADS) initiative. We truly believe that to make STEM programs successful, we have to help our teachers be successful. We created TADS as a way to give teachers the opportunity to learn about new technologies, use design and engineering software, and create learning modules for their classroom. This helps them connect their classroom STEM subjects with real-world workplace skills.
Through TADS, we provide a 6-week internship for two teachers from local schools. The training focuses on engineering concepts, problem-solving & critical thinking skills. The 2015 internship enabled the teachers to develop course materials that guide their student through the process of designing and building a propeller-powered boat. The students work in teams and use software from Dassault Systèmes to design their boat and propeller, simulate its realistic performance, make changes to their design and then race their boat against other teams.
According to Donn Chu of the newly formed Cisco Academy at Mount Pleasant High School, “The value of using simulation in the classroom is summed up by the Chinese proverb, ‘Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.’ Instructional simulations engage students in ‘deep learning’ that empowers understanding as opposed to ‘surface learning’ that requires only memorization. Simulation works!”
It’s important to gain consensus within your organization on what you want to achieve from the very beginning. Then, nominate internal STEM leaders to develop and support your plan. This team can then reach out to your local community to identify needs and existing local, state and federal resources. Once you have identified which projects you will support, you will be able to provide volunteer opportunities to your employees.
I highly recommend providing a budget, no matter how small, to enable your teams to engage in supporting local organizations and STEM activities. Partnering with other local businesses can amplify your contributions to reach a higher level of success. Once you have the basics in place, you can broaden your support from middle schools and high schools to primary schools and even look into opportunities to support undergraduate and graduate programs at local colleges.
Ultimately, it all starts with motivated and inspirational leaders within our organizations. These people are not just top-level executives, but managers and individuals who have the passion to get involved and stay involved year after year. By empowering our employees to be STEM leaders, the impact we can have on building the next-generation, highly educated workforce will be much greater.