5521.002 Advancing DRIVE AM – Aerospace Center

Digital Engineering Design Centers establish national network for aerospace and defense talent development

Chart of digital skills for digital engineering in the high-skill workforce.


Aerospace technology problems such as high-velocity systems are complex, and solutions to these issues need diversity-driven innovation. The aging Aerospace and Defense (A&D) workforce and the lack of supply of fresh domestic talents now critically endanger workforce sustainability. Nearly 27,000 positions are currently open in A&D areas with the demand for security-sensitive, position-qualified aerospace professionals continuously rising as legacy prime contractors and new commercial space exploration companies compete for the same talent pool.


The purpose is to meet the Department of Defense (DoD) digital engineering strategy goals, which are to 1) formalize the development, integration, and use of models to inform enterprise and program decision-making; 2) provide an enduring, authoritative source of truth; 3) incorporate technological innovation to improve the engineering practice; 4) establish a supporting infrastructure and environments to perform activities, collaborate, and communicate across stakeholders; and 5) transform the culture and workforce to adopt and support digital engineering across the lifecycle.

Technical Approach

This project enabled the development and demonstration of a robust digital engineering infrastructure solution and powerful training environment to meet elements of the DoD Strategies of the Digital Engineering Transformation. Through the establishment of the Digital Stack, multiple DEDC locations, and close relationships with large original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), this project positioned the DoD with a talent development pipeline to meet future national security demands regarding aerospace, defense, and energy. Project outputs provided a flexible test bed for developing/demonstrating digital engineering processes and methodologies while utilizing a relevant and real-life development environment. The broad reach of this project provided by multiple DEDC locations and a variety of large OEMs such as Lockheed and Bell Flight, offered an opportunity for students to become prepared to join the future-ready workforce.


Project Participants

Project Principal

Other Project Participants

  • Western Tech
  • El Paso Community School Program
  • Workforce Solutions Borderplex
  • El Paso Chamber of Commerce
  • Youngstown Business Incubator

Public Participants

  • U.S. Department of Defense

Success Story

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