BATON ROUGE, La.
The UGS Corp., a Plano, Texas.-based developer of product lifecycle management services and software, has announced an estimated $1 billion worth of software product donations to 50 colleges and universities in five states hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Product lifecycle management, or PLM, software helps business professionals manage the complete lifecycle of a product from its conception, through design and manufacture, to service and disposal.
Based on the scope of the software donations, approximately 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students at the 50 schools, five of which are historically Black institutions, will have direct access to the software. The schools are in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Company officials say that technologists and engineers at companies such as Procter & Gamble, Boeing, FMC Technologies, Ford and Northrop Grumman use the UGS software in their product development efforts.
“The advances our region can make by bringing together our bright students with inspired faculty and corporate friends, such as UGS, strongly enhances the value of student experience and supports the economic rebuilding efforts of this area,” says Dr. Habib Mohamadian, dean of the College of Engineering at Southern University-Baton Rouge.
Realizing that many of the communities devastated by last year’s storms were predominantly Black, UGS partnered with historically Black colleges and universities in the Gulf Coast region. Since 2005, the company has donated $225 million in software to HBCUs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
“Schools with access to UGS’ state-of-the-art engineering software are better able to recruit and retain top-notch engineering students, engage in community redevelopment projects and ultimately rebuild neighborhoods,” says Dave Shirk, UGS’ executive vice president for global marketing.
UGS is making the software grants through its Global Opportunities in Product Lifecycle Management campaign, which contributes more than $4 billion annually to institutions around the world. Speaking at a news conference last Friday, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said the UGS donations are “exceptionally valuable because it helps us rebuild now and in the future.”
“We’re training students for tomorrow’s jobs on the best engineering design software available,” she said.
— By Ronald Roach
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