This morning, Siemens PLM Software is announcing an in-kind grant of software to Arizona State University’s School of Engineering. With a commercial value of nearly $245 million, it is the largest in-kind grant in the university’s history.
This news especially caught my attention for a couple of reasons. First, ASU’s School of Engineering is my alma mater. Second, and more importantly, the press release mentioned, and included a quote from, Dr. Jami J. Shah, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Design Automation Lab at Arizona State University.
You may not have previously heard of Professor Shah. But, if you’re in the CAD industry, he’s a person whose name you should remember. Here’s a copy of his bio, from the ASU directory:
Dr. Jami J. Shah is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Design Automation Lab at Arizona State University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Design at Ohio State in 1984 and MS in Materials Engineering at University of Pittsburgh. Prior to his academic career he worked in industry for 6 years, designing and fabricating manufacturing machines. He has held visiting professorships at UC Berkeley, Helsinki University of Technology and Uni Melbourne (Australia). He has also been in residence at GE Corporate R&D, GM Tech Center, Allied Signal Aerospace, and Phillips Company (Netherlands), while serving as a consultant. Dr. Shah’s research areas include: Cognitive studies of design ideation, geometric computing, AI & Knowledge based systems and Engineering Metrology. At ASU he established research programs in Mechanical Design, CAD/CAM, and Manufacturing Automation. He developed several research and instructional labs, including the Design Imaginarium, Design Automation Lab, Prototyping Shop and the Computer aided Engineering lab. He has received research grants and contracts from National Science Foundation, DARPA, NIST, ARO, GE, TI, GM, Ford, USCAR, AlliedSignal, Boeing, HP, and others. He is the author of 2 US patents, 2 books, and 150+ peer reviewed technical papers in professional journals and conferences. He has graduated over 50 Ph.D.s and MS students at ASU. Dr. Shah is the founding chief editor of ASME Transaction, the Journal of Computing & Information Science in Engineering(JCISE). He was elected Fellow of ASME in 2001.
Now that you know a little bit about Professor Shah, I’d like to connect a few dots for you.
First, if you were to track down the people who studied under Dr. Shah, you’d find many of them teaching at major universities, or doing advanced software development at major engineering software firms.
Second, if you were to visit the ASU Design Engineering Lab website, at http://asudesign.eas.asu.edu/, and look at the areas of research engaged in, you’d find, among other things, Geometric Feature Recognition/Feature based design. (See http://asudesign.eas.asu.edu/projects/geofearegres.html)
And, third, if your curiosity was piqued back in early 2008, when Siemens PLM Software announced Synchronous Technology (as was mine), and you started doing some research, to try and understand how it works under the covers, you’d invariably run across research papers such as these:
- “Automatic recognition of interacting features based on MCSG”, J. Computer aided Design., V30 (9), pp 727-739, 1998.
- “A Discourse on Geometric Feature Recognition from CAD Models”, J. of Computing & Information Science in Engineering, ASME Transactions, V 1(1), pp 41 – 51, March 2001.
- “Recognition of Multi-axis Features: Part I – Topological and Geometric Characteristics”, ASME Transactions, Journal of Computing & Information Science, V4(3), September, 2004, pp 242-250.
- “Recognition of Multi-axis Features: Part II – Algorithms & Implementation”, Journal of Computing & Information Science, V5(2), March 2005, pp 25-34.
- “Recognition of Interacting Turning Features for Mill/Turn Parts”, Proc. ASME DAC conf, Long Beach, CA, Sep 2005, Paper DETC2005-85431.
Actually, many of the papers you’d find relating to feature recognition (one of the important elements of Synchronous Technology), including all of the papers listed above, would include the name “Shah J.” in their author citation.
Although I can’t draw a straight line between Dr. Shah and the development of Synchronous Technology, there are enough dotted lines to make me believe that, if you were to find the key researchers at Siemens PLM Software who were responsible for Synchronous Technology, you’d find only one or two degrees of separation between them and Dr. Shah.
If you’re interested to see what the future might bring in advanced CAD technology, I can say, from personal experience, that one of the best things you could do would be to talk to Dr. Shah. I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited with him both at the Design Automation Lab, and at COFES.
If you’re interested in actually being a part of the development of the next generation of advanced CAD technology, two very good options would be either to sponsor research at the ASU Design Automation Lab, or move to Tempe, Arizona, and study under Dr. Shah.
My thanks go out to Siemens PLM Software for supporting Dr. Shah, and the students of the ASU School of Engineering.
Following is the news release about the Siemens PLM Software grant to ASU:
Siemens invests in ASU to help engineering students better prepare for joining workforce
Record-setting in-kind grant will provide state-of –the-art computer software for advanced training
TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State University will be able to enrich its engineering education and provide students more advanced preparation to enter the workforce through an in-kind software grant from Siemens PLM Software to ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering announced today.
Siemens PLM Software is a division of the Siemens Industry Automation Division and a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services.
With a commercial value of nearly $245 million, it is the largest in-kind grant in the university’s history.
The grant was made through the Siemens PLM Software Global Opportunities in Product Lifecycle Management program – called GO PLMTM – and includes engineering software, student/instructor training and specialized software certification programs.
ASU graduates with training on such industry- leading design software are more attractive to prospective employers.
“Advanced tools such as the PLM Software are essential to preparing our engineers for the challenges they will face in an increasingly complex and global economy. They will be able to meet demand for designing and analyzing systems that transcend traditional boundaries,” said Deirdre Meldrum, dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
“This gift from Siemens aligns with our vision of leading engineering education and research that sparks innovation, and enables engineers to improve the quality of life,” Meldrum said.
“Today’s leading manufacturing and technology companies compete on the basis of time to market, product cost, quality and innovation,” said Dave Shirk, executive vice president of Global Marketing for Siemens PLM Software. “It’s quite clear that today’s best students in top programs, like the program at ASU, must benefit through opportunities to gain experience with technology that supports these objectives.”
ASU now joins other leading universities with which Siemens has similar academic partnerships or has made similar in-kind gifts, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of California at Berkeley, Michigan State University, Brigham Young University, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Carnegie Mellon and Purdue.
ASU Graduate student Adam Dixon said training on the Siemens PLM Software “will make ASU engineering grads more marketable. It will definitely open more doors.”
“Many companies use the software because of its superiority,” said Dixon, who is studying engineering design and works in ASU’s Design Automation Lab. “Having access to this innovative technology will give us a clear advantage in the workforce. “
Jami Shah, a professor in Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and director of the Design Automation Lab, said Siemens PLM Software “has an extremely generous academic license program. Siemens realizes the important responsibility industry has in contributing to higher education.”
“Our mechanical and aerospace engineering graduates go to work for major engineering companies that all use these kinds of high-end computer –aided design and finite element analysis software packages,” Shah explained. “This is why it’s important to instruct students with tools such as PLM Software’s NXTM.”
“We’ve used Siemens’ PLM Software’s state-of-the-art software products for nearly 25 years,” he said. The academic license program allows students to use engineering analysis packages such as NX, IDEAS and Nastran to perform critical engineering tasks such as stress and failure simulation, vibration and dynamics analyses and thermal analyses.
“The software is a great teaching tool because it makes everything transparent,” Shah said. “It clearly shows the student how the results of any design work or engineering analysis were computed. You can see and control the workings of the software packages.”
Troy Howe, a senior studying mechanical and aerospace engineering, said the computer-aided design program “has been invaluable to my progress.”
Howe uses the program at work to build three-dimensional models and drawing schematics.
“My training in class gave me the confidence and ability to complete my projects quickly and accurately,” he said. “It has helped me draw praise for the quality of my work. So I’m looking forward to next semester when I’ll take the advanced CAE class with the new Siemens software.”
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GO PLM Program
Siemens PLM Software’s GO PLMTM initiative leads the industry in the commercial value of the in-kind grants it provides and brings together four complementary community involvement programs focused on academic partnership, regional productivity, youth and displaced worker development and the PACE (Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education) program. GO PLM provides PLM technology to more than 1,000,000 students yearly at nearly 10,200 global institutions, where it is used at every academic level – from middle schools to graduate engineering research programs.
Arizona State University
Arizona State University is creating a new model for American higher education, an unprecedented combination of academic excellence, entrepreneurial energy and broad access. This New American University is a single, unified institution comprising four differentiated campuses positively impacting the economic, social, cultural and environmental health of the communities it serves. Its research is inspired by real-world application blurring the boundaries that traditionally separate academic disciplines. A comprehensive public metropolitan research university enrolling more than 60,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students on four campuses, ASU is a federation of unique colleges, schools, departments, and research institutes that comprise close-knit but diverse academic communities that are international in scope. ASU champions intellectual and cultural diversity, and welcomes students from all fifty states and more than one hundred nations across the globe.
Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering
The Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University serves more than 4,000 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students, providing skills and knowledge for shaping careers marked by innovation and societal impact. Ranked nationally in the top 50 among engineering schools rated by US News & World Report magazine, the school engages in use-inspired research in a multidisciplinary setting for the benefit of individuals, society and the environment. Its 200-plus faculty members teach and pursue research in areas of electrical, industrial, chemical, mechanical, aerospace, civil, environmental, materials and energy engineering, as well as bioengineering, computer science and biomedical informatics.
Siemens PLM Software
Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of the Siemens Industry Automation Division, is a leading global provider of product lif
ecycle management (PLM) software and services with nearly six million licensed seats and 56,000 customers worldwide. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Siemens PLM Software works collaboratively with companies to deliver open solutions that help them turn more ideas into successful products. For more information on Siemens PLM Software products and services, visit www.siemens.com/plm.
Siemens Industry Automation Division
The Siemens Industry Automation Division (Nuremberg, Germany) is a worldwide leader in the fields of automation systems, low-voltage switchgear and industrial software. Its portfolio ranges from standard products for the manufacturing and process industries to solutions for whole industrial sectors that encompass the automation of entire automobile production facilities and chemical plants. As a leading software supplier, Industry Automation optimizes the entire value added chain of manufacturers – from product design and development to production, sales and a wide range of maintenance services. With around 42,900 employees worldwide Siemens Industry Automation achieved in fiscal year 2008 total sales of EUR8.7 billion.
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