We'll explore the impact of the GPU in engineering simulations of discrete elements and glimpse into the future of simulations and engineering training. We consider the roles played by the open-source Blaze-DEMGPU framework we developed, as well as the commercial framework XPS, developed specifically for the pharmaceutical industry by the RCPE GmbH (Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH) that allows engineers to simulate process changes before being actually implemented. Industrial-scale discrete element simulations remain a big challenge, but the GPU architecture is changing that perception fast, as is demonstrated by the open-source framework Blaze-DEM and the commercial framework XPS. However, engineering simulation remains characterized by either the analyze-wait-modify-analyze cycle or more recently the batch analyze-wait-modify-batch analyze cycle. The GPU is enabling a new and alternative paradigm denoted interactive simulation and design (ISD) as is demonstrated by Blaze-DEMGPU. We'll explore the algorithmic development of Blaze-DEMGPU in detail with a short historical tour outlining the development as the GPU architectures changed from Kepler to Pascal, enabling higher fidelity models in addition to the natural progression from the conventional analysis cycle towards ISD and the various roles machine learning can play.