Like all industries, the engineering field is always looking for new ways to improve efficiency, accuracy, and safety, and engineers have turned to technology to make these goals a reality. In fact, reality is a key concept in these endeavors. Engineering professionals are increasingly implementing virtual reality and augmented reality in their processes. Before we explore how these technologies are being used, let’s differentiate between augmented reality and virtual reality. 

How Much “Real” Is in the Reality? 

The primary difference between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) lies in how much of what you’re seeing and experiencing is real. In professional settings, both technologies generally involve the use of specialized headgear. When interacting with augmented reality, users often wear smart glasses that enable them to see the surrounding environment but also allow other elements to be added into their field of view. An example would be seeing the room you’re standing in but also seeing a realistic-looking dinosaur walk in front of you—something that’s only visible in the glasses. AR is also now a feature included in most cell phones.  

Virtual reality headsets completely cover your eyes so that everything you see is computer-generated. You could be seeing that dinosaur as you appear to be standing on the earth during prehistoric times, surrounded by animals, plants, and landscapes that no longer exist. Many ordinary people have experienced this wonderous technology at theme parks or even a shopping mall. But how could an innovation like this benefit engineering project management professionals? 

AR and VR Applications in Engineering Project Management 

Augmented and virtual reality have changed engineering projects from their earliest stages through to completion. Project managers who’ve equipped their teams with these tools have been able to enjoy smoother project life cycles and deliver more favorable results than were previously possible. 

Let’s look at a few groundbreaking examples of how these tools have positively impacted construction, automotive, and other engineering-related disciplines: 

Better Design Process 
Virtual reality design tools give engineers a 3D view of their project from the initial stage, enabling them to identify and address any potential deficiencies before proceeding. 

Better Training 
Augmented reality enables managers to provide experiential learning to workers on the job safely and with greater efficiency than many other methods allow. 

Streamlined Prototyping Process 
A prototype—a physical model of a proposed car, for example—takes time and money to produce. By building a virtual car, an engineer can create multiple prototypes to “work all the bugs out” before building the physical prototype.  

Improved Safety 
Outfitted with augmented reality glasses, on-site construction personnel can see and avoid underground utility cables and other hazards that might otherwise be unseen. 

Less Travel Time and Expense 
AR also allows project managers, clients, and other essential parties to visit and inspect sites from the comfort of their offices or any other convenient location. 

Build Advanced Engineering Project Management Expertise Online 

UT Permian Basin’s ABET-accredited College of Engineering offers an online Graduate Certificate in Engineering Project Management to equip you with the industry’s latest tools, techniques, and skills. Led by our renowned faculty, this 12-credit program will help you hone your ability to lead and manage projects from beginning to completion and deliver optimal results on time, within budget, and with  

minimal to no errors. 

If you’re in the process of earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering, science, or business from an accredited institution, or you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree in these fields, we invite you to apply to our graduate certificate program! 

Professional Benefits of Our Program 

In addition to helping you gain new skills and a credential to add to your resume, our engineering project management certificate can boost your professional potential. 

Gain Important Industry Certifications 

Industry certifications can set you apart at hiring time and earn you greater esteem in the engineering project management field. You can apply all the credits you earn in our graduate certificate program toward career-defining Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI). What’s more, if you choose Lean Six Sigma as one of your program courses, you’ll be qualified to pursue Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification. The combination of our graduate certificate and these two respected industry certifications can open up many more professional opportunities for you. 

Enjoy Greater Career Mobility 

Project managers are in high demand across many fields. According to PMI, 25 million new project professionals will be needed by 2030. If you’re hoping to become a project manager or are already working as a project manager and want to move up or find a new employer, there are plenty of opportunities out there. Employers are looking not to just fill those positions but to find the most qualified candidates. Our graduate certificate can make your qualifications stand out. 

Earn a Valuable Career Credential on Your Own Schedule 

Our Graduate Certificate in Engineering Project Management is presented in an asynchronous, 100% online format that offers tremendous advantages. Complete your studies at your own pace from just about any location on the planet. No campus visits are required. This flexibility allows you to continue meeting any professional or personal commitments while earning your certificate. 

Apply to our Graduate Certificate in Engineering Project Management program today!