McNAIR Center to Offer Professional Education and Certification

McNair_Aerospace_StandardThe McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research of the University of South Carolina is excited to announce its new initiative McNAIR Advance. The initiative is a professional education program of the McNAIR Center dedicated to excellence in industrial training and certification. The McNAIR Advance initiative will kick-off by offering training and certification in CATIA. CATIA is increasingly chosen as the primary 3D design system for companies and the design tool utilized to develop a broad range of products across the world. McNAIR is one of two University Dassault Systems Certified Education Partners in the United States. Classes begin in February and continue through 2016. Registration is open, please click here for further information.

McNAIR Advance holds great potential to become a lynchpin for high level technical training in aerospace in South Carolina. The McNAIR Center provided detailed information on the McNAIR Advance initiative.


The following are a series of questions answered by Dr. Ramy Harik, McNAIR Advance program director and assistant professor of Aerospace Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Carolina.

What is McNAIR Advance?

McNAIR Advance is a professional education program of the McNAIR Center of the University of South Carolina, dedicated to excellence in industrial training and certification. With aspirations to lead workforce development in the United States, we will bring state of the art industrial expertise to support the rising Southeast in the fields of design, robotics, structural health monitoring, composites manufacturing and testing.

What do you hope to accomplish/ what are the goals?

Workforce development is one of the key elements of the McNAIR Center’s mission. We are proud to participate in the state-wide efforts to turn the region and the University into a national aerospace hub for education, research and industrial activity. In addition to the string of successes in education and research characterizing the formation of the Center, a new Design Center is planned for Charleston, SC where much of the aerospace industry base is currently located. The McNAIR Advance is a training arm of the Design Center. The broader aspirations for the design center is to offer industry the opportunity to interact with McNAIR professors and professionals in innovative projects using both industry strength hardware and software releases ranging from robotic platforms to state-of-the-art design software.

What types of training will be offered?

As a start, the McNAIR Center has partnered with Dassault Systemes (DS), becoming one of the only two University Dassault Systemes Certified Education Partners in the U.S. This Education Partnership Program enables McNAIR Advance to provide training and certification to customers using DS software solutions for Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) and many other engineering enterprise applications. Starting February 29, McNAIR will teach its first series of CATIA V5 and V6 trainings in Charleston, SC. Trainings will also be offered at the Center in Columbia and in-house upon request.

In the future, under McNAIR Advance, the Center will develop a training workforce consisting of a certified body of instructors including faculty and graduate students of the University of South Carolina. McNAIR is destined to become a 100% certified laboratory where all his members have acquired one or several certifications, each in their respective field of expertise. This will assure access to sufficient numbers of high level instructors and a tight link to other education and research activities at the McNAIR Center and USC as a whole. The link could lead to the development of mixed software training and associated engineering courses from USC’s curriculum.

Describe CATIA and its relevance to the aerospace industry.

Today 62% of the world aircrafts are designed and manufactured with CATIA. With such a share of the market, and with South Carolina becoming the Aerospace hub in the USA, it is only logical to create a center where one can acquire a professional certification and learn to manipulate this powerful design tool.

CATIA (Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application) is a multi-platform CAD/CAM/CAE software widely used across multiple industries. In industries, such as the aerospace and automotive industry, where products and experiences are complex, CATIA offers developers, engineers and designers an integrated system that allows them to virtually create and analyze their product in its operating environment and manage the complete development process.

CATIA has been the main CAD software in the aerospace industry for 30 years. What started as an internal software developed for the French military aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation, CATIA was adopted by Boeing as its official software in 1984 and from there it went on to achieve its current status of primary Aerospace software.

What can you tell us about the instructor(s) – this is a good way to personalize the story.

The instructors are led by the Advance program director Ramy Harik, who holds a PhD in CAD/CAM from Lorraine University in France. Dr. Harik held his studies within an industrial consortium led by Dassault Systemes and has developed functionalities for process planning of aircraft structural parts within CATIA. Dr. Harik will be certifying the selected program core faculty and will be actively participating in the instruction.

Where will the classes be offered?

Initially, our courses will be taught in Charleston to accommodate our clients in the area. In addition, trainings are also planned at the McNAIR Center in Columbia for easy access to our students and faculty. We also offer in-house customized trainings upon request.

What other courses or programs are on the drawing board?

McNAIR Advance is planning a complete set of courses that tailors to the industrial needs. A course on Resin Infusion is already being planned for May 2-6 to be offered in Columbia amongst many others. We plan to offer courses in the 2016/17 year on Non Destructive Evaluation, Robotics in Aerospace, Non Destructive Inspection, Infusion, Structural Health Monitoring along our traditional set of Design courses.

How will this help to advance aerospace in South Carolina?

Through offering trainings that meet industry standards and demand, the McNAIR Center will ensure the development of skills to stay competitive in the global economy and prepare the next generation workforce to enter the aerospace industry. This way, the McNAIR Center will contribute to secure the future growth of the region’s aerospace cluster and South Carolina’s economy.

For more information on McNAIR Advance or to register, please visit the McNAIR Center’s website or call (803) 777-9831.