Siemens and Ashley Kimbel Story

The Siemens and Ashley Kimbel Story

Discover more about Ashley Kimbel

Expanding What’s Humanly Possible

The digital revolution might seem like it’s all about computing power and data, shrouded by questions around what role the human will play. But, in Huntsville, Alabama – also known as “Rocket City” serving as a hub to the aerospace industry – local high school senior Ashley Kimbel is proving that the digital revolution is really about how technology can expand what is humanly possible.

Using Siemens Solid Edge software, Ashley was able to design, test and build a prosthetic limb for Kendall Bane, a local U.S. Marine veteran who had lost his leg in Afghanistan as a result of enemy fire. Ashley and her fellow Grissom High students in Huntsville were introduced to the Siemens software – a computer-aided design program used to create manufacturing products worldwide – as part of a race car design team program at the school.

After hearing about Kendall’s story and the limitations his current prosthesis placed on his active outdoor lifestyle, Ashley decided to put her classroom experience with the Siemens software to use and create something better. Guided by her engineering teacher, Ashley worked with Kendall and his brother—Grissom alum and the student’s race car team mentor—to design, test and build a more comfortable and flexible prosthesis using the Siemens Solid Edge software. The entire process, undertaken throughout the school year, resulted in a newly redesigned prosthetic limb for Kendall.  The lighter, more efficient prosthetic now allows him to better enjoy his passions like biking, white-water rafting and snowboarding.

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Siemens develops its industrial software platforms, including Solid Edge, to help companies, organizations and individuals like Ashley solve challenges in ways that otherwise couldn’t have been done before.

With Siemens software, anyone from high schoolers to engineers can virtually design, validate and optimize a physical product or production process. By creating a “digital twin” of the physical product, the software can suggest specific design changes, what is often referred to as “generative design”. By applying machine learning, the software can also conduct thousands of virtual tests. Bringing these processes into the virtual world means anyone can create products that perform more efficiently and effectively than ever before.

The digital twin is already transforming the way products are engineered and manufactured across some of the world’s biggest, and burgeoning, industries. In Detroit, automotive companies use Siemens Solid Edge to reduce costs, increase quality and help bring technologies to market faster than competitors. Siemens software was mission critical for engineers at JPL who used the tool to conduct thousands of simulations for its Mars Rover to successfully navigate the “seven minutes of terror”. And in California, start-up company Hackrod is aiming to disrupt the market by using Siemens software to virtually build and 3D print a self-designing roadster and demonstrate the potential to democratize the manufacturing world.

Ashley was able to access the Solid Edge software as part of a nation-wide program offering Siemens PLM software and learning materials to students and learning institutions at no cost via Siemens’ strong commitment to preparing the next-generation workforce spans its PLM software programs, an initiative that has granted industrial software licenses to support more than 1 million students across five continents, to investing $50 million annual in workforce training for its own employees in the U.S., expanding its apprenticeship programs across the U.S., and partnering with educational institutions to collaborate on new curriculums and providing billions of USD worth of hardware and software grants.  

Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of the Siemens Digital Factory Division, is a leading global provider of software solutions to drive the digital transformation of industry, creating new opportunities for manufacturers to realize innovation. With headquarters in Plano, Texas, and over 140,000 customers worldwide, Siemens PLM Software works with companies of all sizes to transform the way ideas come to life, the way products are realized, and the way products and assets in operation are used and understood.

Siemens USA is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for nearly 170 years. The company is using its global leadership in engineering and technology innovation to meet America’s toughest challenges. From efficient power generation to digital factories, from wellhead to thermostat, and from medical diagnostics to locomotives and light rail vehicles, Siemens in the U.S. delivers solutions for industry, hospitals, utilities, cities and manufacturers. Siemens’ next-generation software is used in every phase of product development, enabling manufacturers to optimize and customize equipment that touches American lives every day.

Siemens has been in the U.S. for more than 160 years and it is now the company’s largest market. In just the past 15 years, Siemens has invested approximately $40 billion in America. Most recently, Siemens expanded its digital industrial leadership with the acquisition of Oregon-based software company, Mentor Graphics. With approximately 372,000 employees in 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $92.0 billion in fiscal 2017. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $23.3 billion, including $5.0 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The U.S. is home to more than 50 Siemens manufacturing sites and digital hubs and the company invests more than $1 billion in R&D; annually and more than $50 million in job training programs.