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Contribution helps Lehigh keep PACE with cutting edge technology

Lehigh has received the largest in-kind corporate contribution in the university’s history—valued at $31 million—from the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE).

The contribution includes computer-based engineering and design software, hardware, technology and training that will enhance academic programs in engineering, business, and design arts, as well as Lehigh’s distinctive interdisciplinary programs that span colleges and departments.

Lehigh and PACE announced the new partnership on Feb. 15 at Lehigh’s Wilbur Powerhouse, a cutting edge facility that brings the power of real-world innovation and academics together. A corporate alliance between General Motors, EDS, Sun Microsystems and UGS, PACE was formed in 1999 to promote engineering, science and art curricula that prepare students for careers in the automotive, technology and engineering fields. The featured speaker at the event was Robert Kruse, executive director, vehicle integration, General Motors North America Engineering.

”Hands-on experience with technology”

According to Gregory Farrington, Lehigh president, the gift underscores Lehigh’s commitment to collaborative learning, entrepreneurship and such emerging fields as integrated business and engineering, and design arts.

“The PACE partnership reflects our joint commitment to multi-disciplinary learning and enhances our relationships with these leading companies,” Farrington said. “We thank PACE for its generous investment in our programs and our people that will enable us to continue to develop innovative academic programs and applicable research that will best serve our mutual needs.”

For General Motors, the partnership represents a long and successful relationship between the industry leader and one of the nation’s top research institutions.

“The definition of what an engineer does is changing,” Kruse said. “Being proficient with the latest computer-based design tools opens up new career opportunities throughout the engineering world. That’s why the PACE program and institutions like Lehigh University are so important. Our common goal is to help train engineers to succeed in the rapidly evolving engineering environment of the future.”

The PACE software, including NX™, Teamcenter®, MSC.Adams® and Solid Edge®, will be used primarily by students and faculty in Integrated Product Development (IPD), Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE), Design Arts and other innovative interdisciplinary programs. The modeling and simulation programs will be installed in numerous academic buildings and computer labs on campus, such as Wilbur Powerhouse and Packard Lab. These powerful tools will allow students to design projects ranging from simulated automobile crash tests to the flow of blood through artificial heart valves.

“UGS is pleased to be part of PACE’s contribution to Lehigh University,” 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 hands-on experience with technology that support these objectives. We hope that our contributions to Lehigh’s excellent academic programs will open new opportunities for its graduates around the world.”

A strong tradition of success

Additional software, hardware and training provided by the PACE contribution includes Altair® Hyperworks®, LS-DYNA™ software from LSTC, and a large format printer from Hewlett Packard.

“PACE offers a unique combination of hardware and software to facilitate the learning of computer-aided engineering and design concepts,” said Tom Brady, client executive for EDS GM Global Manufacturing & Quality. “Students gain hands-on experience applying those concepts as they work on real-world industry projects. Lehigh graduates will be highly skilled and able to ‘hit the ground running’ when joining an employer in any sector.”

Lehigh boasts a strong tradition of success using computer-aided software, having initiated the first CAD/CAM program more than 25 years ago. Lehigh’s curriculum has a history of combining traditional education with state-of-the-art hardware and software, for real-world projects that enable Lehigh graduates to succeed in both the academic and corporate worlds.

In addition to the in-kind contribution, Lehigh will also receive a grant through PACE from the GM Foundation for the CHOICES program (Charting Horizons and Opportunities in Careers in Engineering and Science) for middle school girls.

Lehigh is the 30th institution worldwide to join the PACE program. Since its inception in 1999, the corporate partnership has contributed to leading academic institutions in the U.S. such as MIT, University of Michigan, Georgia Tech, Northwestern, Purdue, Howard, Virginia Tech, Missouri-Rolla and others worldwide. The PACE partnership also extends to institutions in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Mexico and Sweden.

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 on Lehigh’s multi-disciplinary programs, visit: www3.lehigh.edu/academics/acunique.asp

For more information on PACE, visit: www.pacepartners.org

For more information on General Motors, visit: www.gm.com

For more information on EDS, visit: www.eds.com

For more information on Sun Microsystems, visit: www.sun.com

For more information on UGS, visit: www.ugs.com

--Sue Hofmann

Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2005

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