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  November 17, 2003

$146 Million Software Grant Largest
Gift In UConn's History

UGS PLM Solutions, a subsidiary of EDS, the world's largest independent information technology services company, is awarding the University a software grant with a commercial value of $146.1 million - the largest contribution UConn has ever received.

The grant-in-kind, announced November 13 at a press conference in the Information Technologies Engineering Building, will provide students and faculty in the School of Engineering with a suite of leading industry software that will help them conceive, design, engineer and validate projects using the same tools today's leading manufacturing and technology companies employ.

Image: Amir Faghri, dean of engineering.

Amir Faghri, dean of the School of Engineering, speaks at the press conference where the UGS PLM Solutions gift was announced. Also on the podium at, at left, Dave Werner, vice president of UGS PLM Solutions Northeast; and, at right, President Philip E. Austin and U.S. Representative Rob Simmons (R-2nd District).

Photo by Peter Morenus

"This grant signifies an enormously valuable collaboration between one of the nation's major public research universities, and one of the nation's most innovative and far-sighted companies," said President Philip E. Austin. "The nature and scope of the grant are unparalleled in UConn's history.

"The grant will further strengthen a School of Engineering that is already making great strides in research, instruction, and service to the wider community," Austin added. "E-engineering and e-commerce are vital components of Connecticut's economic growth. We are delighted to partner with EDS in this great venture."

The software grant from UGS PLM Solutions, the product lifecycle management (PLM), includes products used by technologists and engineers at General Motors, Boeing, Toyota, AT&T, IBM, Hitachi, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, General Dynamics, and many other top global companies. There are approximately 2.6 million licensed users of software incorporating UGS PLM Solutions technology worldwide.

"This grant will position the University of Connecticut among the leaders in e-engineering education and will ensure that UConn's students and faculty have access to world-class e-engineering support," said Amir Faghri, dean of the School of Engineering. "UGS PLM Solutions will serve as UConn's educational partner, helping to train engineering students using the most cutting-edge product design and development software on the market today."

The grant will provide UConn engineering students with the tools they need to transition smoothly from an academic environment into careers in industry, says Faghri. "It gives our students a real competitive advantage in the career marketplace."

The grant covers a suite of product lifecycle management tools for computer aided design, computer aided manufacturing, computer aided engineering, and collaborative visualization, with advanced features such as finite element analysis, optimization programs, and advanced solid modeling.

UGS PLM Solutions software will permit the School of Engineering to significantly enhance the integration of e-engineering into its curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate levels, where students will design product models, simulate their operation, and quantitatively evaluate their performance. A component of the integrated EDS software suite allows a user to design, simulate and optimize the full range of engineered products, beginning at the concept stage and proceeding through all manufacturing phases to final production.

"UGS PLM Solutions is committed to helping leading academic institutions such as the University of Connecticut expand career development opportunities for students and cultivate a talented base of candidates to increase the competitiveness of regional as well as global manufacturers," said John Saia, president of UGS PLM Solutions' northeastern region.

"Today's leading manufacturers compete on the basis of time-to-market, product cost, quality, and innovation," Saia added. "Students must have the opportunity to gain experience with technology that supports these objectives."

The grant to UConn is among the largest UGS PLM Solutions has awarded to a university. The company's global strategic partnership program boasts more than 7,100 academic partners, including such institutions as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Stanford University; the University of Michigan; California Institute of Technology; the University of Illinois; Purdue; and Texas A&M.

In recent years, the UConn School of Engineering has partnered with the private sector to expand its educational horizons, including establishing 16 endowed professorships.

The UGS PLM Solutions grant will enable the School of Engineering to establish a long-planned Institute for Interdisciplinary Engineering Education, Design and Computing. The mission of the institute is to spark innovation by connecting industry with academia in a virtual environment. It will promote new technologies using the most advanced innovative learning techniques, and will integrate activities across engineering disciplines, with emphasis on the interdisciplinary design and computational process.

The UGS PLM Solutions software also will find diverse applications within the school's major research centers, including the Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center and the Center for Optics, Sensing, and Tracking in Homeland Security.

The largest gift received by the University previously was $23 million from alumnus Raymond Neag for the Neag School of Education and the UConn Health Center.

The School of Engineering has 1,450 undergraduate and 400 graduate students and 120 faculty.

EDS, with 2002 revenue of $21.5 billion, is ranked 80th on the Fortune 500 list.