Event Recap: Jobs of the Future Q&A with Richard Schrade – Digital Twin Specialists

There are so many opportunities in Digital Twins — and not just in engineering. If you can define and fix a problem with Digital Twins, you’re just as valuable as the Digital Twin Engineer.” — Richard Schrade III
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This month, we kicked off our our new series, 100 Jobs of the Future, where we forecast and explore specific emerging technology jobs, careers and workforce trends that are coming over the next 5 years (by 2025!) and how people, companies and governments can define and prepare for these jobs.

For the first virtual event in this series, we focused on what is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated and exciting jobs of the future (that actually exists today), Digital Twin Specialists, in a live presentation and Q&A with guest speaker, Richard Schrade (co-Founder of Automation Intelligence which specializes in Digital Twin and Advanced Analytics), moderated by our very own Charlie Oliver.

Some of the topics we discussed in this session include:

  • A day in the life of a Digital Twin Specialist today and in the future;
  • Why Digital Twinning is winning;
  • The problems Digital Twins solve for companies;
  • The potential evolution and growth of this space in the next five years;
  • How to launch a Digital Twin startup;
  • How companies are currently working with Digital Twin consultants;
  • Various positions within the Digital Twin space and other positions that support this role (or interact with it);
  • Technical, education, and social qualifications for getting a job as a Digital Twin Specialist;
  • The current culture of the industry and how it might changed based on it’s projected growth;
  • Digital Twin in popular culture like scifi movies (The Matrix;

What’s a Digital Twin?

A digital twin is a virtual replica of an object, being, or system that can be continuously updated with data from its physical counterpart. Supported by an estimated 25 billion connected global sensors by 2021, digital twins will soon exist for millions of things. A jet engine, a human heart, even an entire city can all have a digital twin that mirrors the same physical and biological properties as the real thing. The implications are profound: real-time assessments and diagnostics much more precise than currently possible; repairs literally executed in the moment; and innovation that is faster, cheaper, and more radical.” — How Digital Twins Are Reinventing Innovation (MIT Sloan Management Review, January 2020)

Key Takeaways

Here are just a few things we learned about Digital Twins from Richard in this informative session:

  • Digital Twins are a representation of a real life system that are as close to the real world as we can get with the computing power we have today. As computer power increases and improves, so too will Digital Twins;
  • They help companies to forecast future potential errors and mitigate those errors today! In a sense, Digital Twins are models of the future that we can engage with today!
  • Machine Learning is a huge component of Digital Twins as you’ll need it to train your models with data. So, if you want to become a Digital Twin expert, machine learning is key;
  • Unclear ROI hinders innovation in this space and investment from companies. Digital Twins can actually bridge the risk gap.;
  • If you want to learn about
  • It’s not ALL technical. Communication is key with Digital Twins! You have to compose and summarize your findings and the limitations of your Digital Twin;
  • If you really want to learn about Digital Twins, start with learning Unity;
  • Digital Twins are used primarily byt Fortune 200 companies and above. These are the heavily funded R&D groups that can invest in this emerging technology. So the first jobs will be at that level;

In the presentation, Richard goes reviews Deloitte’s version of a job overview for a “Digital Twin Engineer” and notes that, while it gets many things right, there’s some wishful thinking and a touch of unrealistic expectations of what this job can and will do in the near future. Still, it’s a great starting off point so definitely download and review the Deloitte Insights Digital Twin Engineers document HERE.

Additional Resources & Reading

  • The Matrix Digital Twin scene from Richard’s presentation (view clip)
  • 6G Will Bring Digital Twins, Samsung Says — And It’s Two Years Ahead of Schedule (read more)
  • Microsoft and Telstra to partner on cloud, IoT, and digital twins (read more)
  • Learn How to Use Develop Unity Skills (read more)
  • Digital Twin Market Revenue to Hit USD 35 Bn by 2026: Global Market Insights, Inc. (read more)
  • AI drug designer XtalPi raises $318M from SoftBank, Tencent & others for ‘digital twin’ simulation efforts (read more)
  • WEBINAR: Smart technology and the pandemic: how digital twins are central to cities’ strategies  (read more)

Guest Speaker

Richard Schrade III (Co-Founder of Automation Intelligence)

Richard is an automation expert with years of experience in industrial automated systems. He co-founded Automation Intelligence in 2019 to optimize factories and distribution centers through targeted AI & Digital Twins.

Connect with Richard: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rschrade3/

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