Each spring, the PLM Center research fellows and the corporate member representatives convene to discuss the progress made to date in the current research projects, and to begin evaluating research topic areas for the following year. The new topics tend to originate with the PLM Center members as they discuss the pain points around PLM inside their company. The list of topics is narrowed, and either new PLM Center research fellows are recruited or existing fellows absorb the new topics into their respective statements of work. As the research fellows begin framing the problem, the PLM Center members work with them to make sure the problem framework represents real-world concerns and challenges. Once the statement of work is agreed upon the PLM Center transfers funding to the research fellow and work begins. Periodic status checks occur throughout the year, with formal presentations made during PLM Center board meetings in the spring and in the fall.
33 seed grants awarded since 2005
Research is done in the PLM Center in collaboration with designated faculty research fellows. PLM research fellows are selected for their areas of expertise in topics related to product lifecycle management – model-based definition, long-term data archival, systems engineering, supply chain strategies, and cyber and data security to name a few. They represent academic units from across the university in a unique collaboration. The PLM research fellows conduct work that is funded by the PLM Center and falls at the crossroads of their specific area of expertise and the fundamental tenets of PLM.
PLM Center research fellows often conduct proprietary research projects specific to an individual company. PLM Center corporate members and other companies interested in sponsoring research projects simply need to contact the PLM Center for more information. Historically, these projects provide several benefits to industry sponsors:
- Ability to meet company specific needs on specific deadlines
- Ability to conduct applied research without having to disrupt production or normal operations
- Companies often recruit and hire graduate student research assistants
- Greater insights into faculty research areas and future collaboration possibilities
- Include non-disclosure agreements
- Intellectual property agreements