Siemens PLM brings APQP seminar to Oakland University

Siemens PLM brings APQP seminar to Oakland University

PLM event speaker
OU alum and Siemens employee Denise Vallis speaks about APQP system Team Center to a packed EC auditorium.

The Oakland University Industrial and Systems Engineering department, within the School of Engineering and Computer Science, recently teamed up with Siemens PLM Inc. to host a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) seminar on Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) in the Engineering Center.

The auditorium was packed with current and potential PLM users from industry, OU students and MAT^2 students to learn more about the APQP process .

“We were extremely pleased with the turn-out for the APQP Seminar,” ISE professor and chair Robert Van Til said.

“The people from Siemens PLM who presented the seminar told me this was one of their largest audiences ever for an APQP Seminar.”

Following an introduction by Siemens account executive Mike Flynn, Denise Vallis, a 2013 OU Mechanical Engineering alum and current automotive technical manager at Siemens PLM, shared her knowledge of Teamcenter and other elements of the APQP process.

Teamcenter is a Siemens PLM software tool that can be used for managing the APQP process, which is the method OEMs use to work with suppliers in preparation for a vehicle launch, Vallis said.

The seminar explained how Teamcenter helps coordinate schedules and data so users can work together and efficiently deliver at specific gates in the schedule.

Since Siemens has worked with OU in the past to provide software and equipment for ISE courses, the partnership seemed like a good choice.

“We’re really happy to be partnering with Oakland University to have this event here,” Vallis said. “It’s a great partnership between Siemens and OU, and it’s a great pleasure for me, because I graduated from here.”

Vallis began her engineering career in junior high, when she started mechanical drafting.

From there she went on to become a draftsperson at 16, to a design engineer and later on, design engineer and program manager  — 18 years of experience all leading up to her working for Siemens in 2007.

“What I really liked (about OU) is that many professors came from the industry, and we are situated in the hub of the automotive industry, right here in southeastern Michigan.” Vallis said. “It’s great.”

Vallis said OU provides the added benefit to students of being within a short distance of General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Company, as well as many automotive suppliers.

“They help make the university a really great place to learn,” she added.

The event was open to many of the community and provided opportunities for current engineers and managers to learn more about Siemens PLM products. It was also a great opportunity for OU SECS students to get further exposure to the world of PLM, which Van Til said is a crucial topic to be familiar with when entering the workforce as an engineer.

“The seminar was very beneficial to the ISE Department,” Van Til said. “It gave our students a look at a topic that is important to industry, as well as a chance to network with engineers and managers, and even a few HR people, from several companies. It also gave the people from these companies a chance to learn about all the ISE Department PLM activities and courses we offer PLM for both our students and working engineers via professional development.”

For more information about the Industrial Systems and Engineering Dept., visit