General Motors Corp., UGS, Sun Microsystems and EDS continue to demonstrate their commitment to education by donating more than $88 million in computer-aided design, manufacturing, and engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE) software, hardware and training to Kettering University. This is the largest contribution ever given to the university.
This corporate alliance initiative, titled Partners for the Advancement of CAD/CAM/CAE Education (PACE), was formed in 1999 to help provide future engineers from key institutions the education and experience desired by each of the partnering corporations.
Students at Kettering will now be using the same advanced math-based engineering and design tools in the classroom that GM engineers used in the lab to design the 2002 Chevy Avalanche, Trailblazer and a host of new concept vehicles introduced at this year's North American International Auto Show. Students will learn to design, engineer and validate products in a virtual-world to prepare them to address real-world challenges such as accelerated product development cycles and increased productivity demands.
"The technology that PACE has donated represents the future of engineering and design. Our industry demands that we move quickly and deliver unsurpassed quality, reliability and durability in every product that rolls off the line," said Joe Spielman, GM vice president and general manager, Metal Fabricating Division. "By the time they graduate, these students will be among the most experienced and highly skilled graduates to enter the work force. Companies like ours will turn to them for innovative ideas and the know-how to deliver excellent products."
Kettering University, a leading cooperative education institution and alma mater to some of business and industry's top executives, will join an elite list of universities in the United States and Mexico benefiting from a donation of leading-edge technology that will help prepare students for careers in engineering and manufacturing.
"We're very pleased to be a part of this program and grateful for the mutually beneficial and strategic relationships we will be developing with all of the PACE partners," said Kettering University President James E. A. John at a donation ceremony held today on the campus of Kettering University. "This significant gift of computer hardware and software, as well as the training and technical support to operate those systems, will help to ensure Kettering's long tradition of preparing the top technical and managerial leaders of the future."
Kettering is the seventh university to receive a PACE donation. Strategically selected universities are invited to participate in the program based on their ability to meet specific criteria, including:
"The PACE program has provided a wealth of partnerships," said Dr. Robert Mitchell, dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, one of the first institutions to receive a PACE donation. "The industry members are key partners as we work to provide a relevant engineering education that is attractive to our students and our future students. The universities on the team form another layer of partnerships that allow us to learn from each other and to share at many levels. The global perspective of the PACE program is an important dimension that is connecting us to a worldwide team. And of course the equipment and the software are state of the art. I could not have dreamed up a better program."
PACE creates networks for research, curriculum development, textbook development and other forms of collaboration between GM, UGS, Sun Microsystems, EDS and academia. PACE has made donations to universities in the United States and Mexico including: Michigan Technological University, Michigan State University, University of Missouri-Rolla, Tuskegee University, Instituto Politecnico Nacional (Ticoman, Mexico), and the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Toluca, Mexico). The total value of these donations to date is more than $200 million.