Press Release


Oakland University's Industrial and Systems Engineering Department pioneering PLM education

5/9/2013 - Published by Oakland University,  (RochesterMI)
ROCHESTER, Mich., May 9, 2013 — Dr. Patrick Hillberg, an Oakland University adjunct faculty member and a solution architect for Siemens PLM Inc., is currently teaching a new Project Lifecycle Management (PLM) class in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department.

He has 30 years of experience working with PLM, digital manufacturing, process planning, robotics and machine vision applications in the aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding, construction and packaging industries.

The PLM class is part of a collaboration between Siemens and the Industrial and Systems Engineering Dept. that began with $46 million of in-kind Siemens PLM software grants made in 2011 and 2012. The PLM class primarily uses Siemens PLM Software’s Teamcenter® portfolio and NX™ software.
“I enjoy (teaching the class), and am getting very positive feedback from the students. This is the first time I’ve taught a course on any level, and I confess I was a little nervous the first day. I was pretty happy when all of my students returned the second week,” Hillberg said.

According to Hillberg, the class contains both undergraduate and graduate students from the Industrial and Systems Engineering program, as well as the Engineering Management program. Many of the students have full-time jobs, where they work in the topic and are able to bring in their own experience to other students in the class.

“This year the class is being taught as a traditional course on Saturday mornings, with lecture and lab. The lectures are developed from the text “Virtually Perfect,” by Dr. Michael Grieves, and my own experience as a solution architect for Siemens PLM. We’ve also been fortunate to have some guest lecturers, including Dr. Grieves himself, as well as colleagues from Siemens PLM,” Hillberg said.

“Next year I plan to move the course online. The topic lends itself to an online course, and it better suits the busy lives of both me and my students. As an online course, we won’t be limited to Saturday mornings.”

According to Professor Robert Van Til, chair of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Dept., Oakland University has never had a class like this one, and very few universities have similar classes. Many universities teach specific aspects of product development, such as computer-aided design (CAD), but few teach the full product lifecycle.

"The ISE Dept. is working to make PLM part of the foundation of our programs in ISE and engineering management," Van Til said.

Hillberg added, "I expect that more universities will be teaching this in the near future, but right now Oakland University is a pioneer in PLM education."

Oakland University is a nationally recognized university offering students a personal, high-quality education through highly qualified faculty, flexible class schedules, new facilities (including a new $75 million Engineering Center scheduled to open in summer of 2014), student services, labs, internships, co-ops and research opportunities with corporate partners. Oakland's Industrial and Systems Engineering Dept. offers undergraduate, graduate degree and certificate programs in industrial and systems engineering, as well as in engineering management. To learn more about ISE@OU, visit

Media Contact Information

Contact NameDavid Groves
Contact Phone(248) 370-2759