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13 September 2006

$514 Million PACE Contribution to Rensselaer Provides Comprehensive Design Tools

FOR RELEASE Wednesday, September 8, 2006

Troy, N.Y. – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute today announced an in-kind contribution commercially valued at $513,949,200 from the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE). PACE is a joint philanthropic initiative of General Motors, EDS, Sun Microsystems, and UGS Corp. to support key academic institutions worldwide with computer-based design tools to prepare students to compete in the future.

Rensselaer has been a pioneer in the use of computer-aided design, with programs that employ CAD/CAM across the spectrum of academic activities, from science and engineering to game design and cognitive research. The comprehensive modeling and simulation tools from PACE will allow Rensselaer students to work with the latest software used by major corporations, enhancing their ability to design projects ranging from more efficient factories and hybrid vehicles to the flow of blood through artificial heart valves. These tools offer exciting opportunities for Rensselaer students to collaborate on design projects at the intersection of multiple technology-based fields.

At a celebration on the Rensselaer campus, Larry Burns, vice president, research & development and strategic planning for General Motors, announced the commercial value of the PACE contribution to Rensselaer — the largest initial contribution by PACE in its history and largest in-kind contribution in the school’s history.

With the addition of Rensselaer, the PACE collaboration now includes 37 strategically selected universities around the world, including MIT, Virginia Tech, the University of Michigan, and Georgia Tech. The PACE Partnership also extends to institutions in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Mexico, and Sweden.

“As educators we must prepare students for the global economy. This visionary partnership combines the innovative curriculum at Rensselaer with the tools and talents of the PACE partners to create an even more technology-rich, multidisciplinary learning environment for our students,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “The PACE partnership reflects our mutual goal to prepare the next generation of innovators. This historic in-kind contribution to Rensselaer advances our relationship with these leading global corporations and demonstrates their appreciation for the education Rensselaer offers our students and for the expertise of our faculty in educating them to change the world.”

“Computers and math are critical to every aspect of business so it’s essential for engineering students to be proficient at using the latest computer-aided engineering programs and systems,” said Larry Burns, vice president, research & development and strategic planning for General Motors. “That’s why the PACE program and institutions like Rensselaer are vital. Our common goal is to help train engineers to succeed in the rapidly evolving engineering environment of the future.”

“UGS is pleased to participate in PACE’s contribution to Rensselaer,” said Ed Arlin, UGS’ executive vice president, Global GM Account. “Today’s leading manufacturing and technology companies compete on the basis of time to market, product cost, quality, and innovation. Students must have the opportunity to gain experience with technology that supports these objectives. We hope that our support for Rensselaer’s outstanding academic programs will open new opportunities for its graduates.”

“PACE offers a unique combination of hardware and software to facilitate the learning of computer-aided design concepts,” said John Nielsen, client delivery executive of EDS GM Product Development. “Students gain hands-on experience applying those concepts as they work on real-world industry projects. Rensselaer graduates will be highly skilled and able to ‘hit the ground running’ when joining an employer in any sector.”

The PACE software includes UGS’ NX™4, Teamcenter® Community, and Tecnomatix™ Jack® Human Simulation; Altair® HyperWorks®; FLUENT®; LSTC DYNA; MSC.Adams and MD Nastran. While the contributed software and other equipment will be installed in labs such as the O.T. Swanson Multidisciplinary Design Laboratory (MDL) in the School of Engineering, it also will be installed in appropriate hands-on learning environments across the Troy campus, making these new tools available to all students and faculty.

“Rensselaer’s partnership with PACE, initiated and championed by faculty and staff in the MDL and throughout the school during the last three years, demonstrates the value of providing students with a comprehensive suite of the latest design software,” said Alan Cramb, dean of the School of Engineering. “From concept through design and simulation to product and project development, these tools are helping our students realize the full potential of their creativity. This is already evidenced in the array of student projects showcased at today’s celebratory event.”

About Rensselaer

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is the nation’s oldest technological university. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, management, and the humanities and social sciences. Institute programs serve undergraduates, graduate students, and working professionals around the world. Rensselaer faculty are known for pre-eminence in research conducted in a wide range of fields, with particular emphasis in biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology, and the media arts and technology. The Institute is well known for its success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace so that new discoveries and inventions benefit human life, protect the environment, and strengthen economic development.

About PACE

Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) links GM, EDS, Sun Microsystems, and UGS that supports strategically selected academic institutions worldwide, to develop the product lifecycle management (PLM) team of the future. PLM, as it relates to PACE, is an integrated, parametrics-based approach to all aspects of a product’s life--from its design inception, through its manufacture, marketing, distribution, and maintenance, and finally into recycling and disposal. Currently, PACE is focused on:

  • Requirements and planning (concept development)
  • Styling (conceptualization)
  • Product engineering (detailed design)
  • Simulation (validation, optimization)
  • Manufacturing engineering (tooling, machining, 3-D plant layout)
  • Managed development environment (product data management, supply chain management, digital collaboration)

Selected universities are invited to participate based on several criteria, including: a long-term relationship with GM as a primary educational partner and a strong recruiting relationship; strength in design, engineering, and manufacturing; and the institution’s current and intended interest in developing curricula using PACE products and processes. For more information, check out the PACE Web site: www.pacepartners.org.

PACE Media Contacts:

General Motors
Pete Barkey
(586) 492-3878
pete.barkey@gm.com

Sun Microsystems
Melissa Pereira
(408) 884-4980
melissa.pereira@sun.com

UGS
Mendi Paschal
972-987-3210
mendi.paschal@ugs.com
UGS, Teamcenter, NX, Tecnomatix and JACK are trademarks or registered trademarks of UGS Corp. or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries.

EDS
Larry Harrison
313.230.5903
larry.harrison@eds.com

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Jason Gorss
(518) 276-6098
gorssj@rpi.edu