ORLANDO – Honoring more than 30 years of academic and research collaboration with Siemens, the University of Central Florida today awarded the global technology company with the prestigious President’s Partnership Award. UCF President John C. Hitt presented the award to Siemens leaders at an innovation symposium attended by Siemens employees, community and business leaders, and UCF faculty and students.
“We are grateful for Siemens’ cutting-edge work to advance the industry and drive innovation,” said President Hitt. “This long-standing partnership prepares our students for today’s challenges and builds the high-tech workforce that will serve our community for decades to come.”
Over the course of three decades, Siemens and UCF have partnered to focus on the development of the energy sector. This includes the 2017 launch of UCF's Digital Grid Innovation Laboratory – the first of its kind in the United States; the Center of Innovation for Diagnostics and Prognostics research program; and celebrating its 10th anniversary on-campus this year, the Siemens Energy Center.
Today, Siemens announced the next phase of its academic partnership with the university: a major in-kind technology grant of Siemens’ Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software with a commercial value of $593 million. The software grant, one of the largest made to the UCF Foundation, amplifies a similar in-kind grant in 2016 that has already benefitted hundreds of students in UCF's Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research (CATER). The Siemens software technology is used by 140,000 companies worldwide, including 75 in the state and nearly a dozen in central Florida. A large number of UCF’s graduating engineering students go on to secure employment at companies that use PLM software.
"Siemens has been innovating for the world from Orlando’s backyard for nearly 30 years, and we are proud to serve as an industry leader for our academic partnership with UCF,” said Steve Conner, CEO of Siemens’ Energy, Inc. "We are pleased to grow this robust partnership that spans cutting-edge R&D leveraging UCF’s strength in advanced turbomachinery and energy research, to providing UCF students real-world experience on the same software and technology used worldwide, offering a leg-up on the competition when they begin their careers."
The software relates to the design and manufacturing of sophisticated products for energy and power generation, automotive, aerospace, machinery and high-tech electronics. It helps engineers transform their ideas into real products by providing information and feedback as the product moves from design to prototype.
Mechanical engineering doctoral student Marcel Otto, '15, works in CATER and interned at Siemens. “This software helps you do what is done in industry," said Otto. "It's user-friendly, hands-on, and is focused on efficient problem solving, which is critical in industry where every minute counts to bring a product to market.”
The software will now be scaled up for use by all 11,000 students in UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and will be available for use in all phases of students’ academic career, from freshman introductory courses to sophomore design challenges, all the way through to junior and senior capstone design courses. Students majoring in industrial engineering, electrical and computer engineering, biomedical engineering and many more disciplines will utilize the software as part of their course studies. For example, in the UCF Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, the software will be available in the ergonomics class, the study of engineering design for optimal human interaction. Multiple student competition teams will also now utilize the software, including UCF’s American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), BAJA Racing, and Formula SAE Racing teams.
“I’m proud our community is home to a world-class public research institution like UCF and to companies like Siemens that are willing to work together to invest in our students and the future of our economy,” said U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy. “For over 30 years, the UCF-Siemens partnership has produced cutting-edge research and top-notch local talent in the engineering and manufacturing industries. I’m encouraged to see that Siemens is continuing its commitment to this public-private partnership through its generous donation. This partnership strengthens the education of students pursuing high-paying jobs in STEM fields and ensures our economy has the skilled workforce it needs to continue growing.”
"Orlando was recently recognized as the top city in America for STEM job growth," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "That acknowledgement is proof of the impact that partnerships like the one between UCF and Siemens are having as part of our community's shared commitment to creating the jobs of tomorrow, training the next generation of hometown high tech workers and growing our innovation-based economy.
“The digital revolution that swept through travel, music and retail is now changing the way we design and manufacture complex products, and software and technology are at the core, said Del Costy, senior vice president and managing director, Americas for Siemens PLM Software. “Siemens is committed to connecting academia and industry to develop future digital enterprise workers who can support industries across the globe and by expanding our partnership with UCF, we are doing just that.”
In January of 2018, Siemens also established a partnership with BRIDG, the world’s first not-for-profit industry-led smart sensor public-private partnership, which includes UCF, in the semiconductor industry. Siemens is providing an in-kind software grant valued at more than $30 million to BRIDG that will enable its digital enterprise site to feature the complete Siemens product lifecycle management (PLM) portfolio.