Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Siemens announced today an in-kind software grant from Siemens PLM Software with a commercial in-kind value of $125 million. Siemens' product lifecycle management (PLM) software will provide WPI students and researchers with a valuable and sophisticated design and simulation tool for course work, research, and academic projects. This in-kind software grant from Siemens gives students and faculty access to the same technology that more than 77,000 companies around the world use to develop and manufacture innovative products in a wide variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, biotechnology, machinery, shipbuilding, and high-tech electronics.
WPI students and faculty will use the manufacturing software to create training curriculum for technical high school teachers to more effectively teach courses related to manufacturing, such as physics and engineering, said Toby Bergstrom, operations manager of WPI’s Manufacturing Laboratories.
WPI has a long tradition of working with Massachusetts technical high schools and community colleges, as well as state agencies, to help students gain skills on advanced high-tech machinery. While this grant is new, WPI and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) have been training dislocated workers since 2009, and in February, together with MassMEP, WPI provided a $2.5 million grant in the form of software and educational materials to dozens of Massachusetts vocational high schools to allow students to gain skills on advanced high-tech machinery.
"We are honored and thankful to receive this valuable software from Siemens that will help our students develop innovative design capabilities and prepare future employees for advanced technology careers," Bergstrom said. "I want to leverage this into a future project, where undergraduates and graduate students use the software to develop training materials that help teachers teach the things they already teach. I want to make something that fits into the curriculum they are already using, rather than invent a new curriculum."
The grant is part of a $660 million series of in-kind software grants for manufacturing programs at vocational high schools, technical community colleges, and universities throughout Massachusetts announced this morning at the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts.
"The manufacturing industry in America is on the rise and is being transformed by a software revolution that is enhancing productivity, increasing efficiency, and speeding time to market. In Massachusetts it’s the top contributor of gross state product, employing more than 250,000 people," said Chuck Grindstaff, president and CEO, Siemens PLM Software. "This revolution requires a highly trained workforce. Thanks to support of MassMEP, MACWIC and Siemens MT Worcester, Massachusetts schools will integrate world-class PLM technology into their curricula, so that students are even better prepared for high-quality manufacturing jobs."
The series of in-kind grants was established as a result of an industry need for skilled workers identified through MassMEP and the Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative (MACWIC), an alliance of next-generation companies working to provide employer-led workforce training initiatives. Siemens Metals Technologies (MT) business, located in Worcester, is a founding member of MACWIC and serves on the steering committee.
About Siemens PLM Software
Siemens PLM software allows companies to manage the entire lifecycle of a product efficiently and cost-effectively, from ideation, design and manufacture, through service and disposal. Among Industry Week's list of 1,000 manufacturing companies, more than half use Siemens PLM Software; in the key markets of automotive, aerospace, machinery and high tech, the total is close to 80 percent. NASA used the software to develop the Mars rover Curiosity. Calloway uses it to design golf clubs. And Space X has used Siemens PLM software to develop its Falcon rocket and Dragon space capsule.
Siemens PLM Software is a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services with seven million licensed seats and more than 77,000 customers worldwide, delivering open solutions to help its customers make smarter decisions that result in better products.