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September 26, 2002

$116 million PACE gift puts Purdue students in drivers' seats

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – General Motors Corp., Sun Microsystems and EDS today (Thursday, 9/26) announced an in-kind gift with a commercial value of $116.1 million that will continue a tradition of preparing Purdue University students to step directly from the classroom into the corporate world.

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Partners for the Advancement of CAD/CAM/CAE Education (PACE), an alliance among GM, Sun and EDS, will donate to Purdue 1,205 computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering software packages identical to those used by General Motors in automotive design. The largest corporate gift in Purdue history, it will benefit faculty and students involved with analysis, design and manufacturing classes in the Purdue School of Technology and Schools of Engineering.

  • Frank Colvin announces gift value (10 seconds)
  • Frank Colvin discusses importance of gift (14 seconds)
  • More than 3,000 Purdue graduates work for GM, the university's largest private corporate employer. Indiana's largest manufacturer, GM employs more than 12,600 people in the state at seven operations in five communities. GM and its former subsidiaries employ more than 27,000 people, making it the second-largest private sector employer in the state.

    "This gift represents Purdue's collaborative relationships with key industry and high-technology leaders," said university President Martin C. Jischke. "These relationships continue to grow and benefit our students, both in the classroom and in the workplace. We are grateful to our PACE partners for their commitment to our students' education today and their employment tomorrow."

    Students will have immediate access to the new systems, which have been integrated in the university's curricula, Jischke said.

    Frank Colvin, GM vice president for fuel cell activities, said his company's involvement with PACE and its gift to Purdue represent an investment in the automaker's future.

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    "The technology that PACE has donated represents the future of engineering and design," said Colvin, a Purdue graduate. "Our industry demands that we move quickly and deliver unsurpassed quality, reliability and durability in every product we produce. By the time they graduate, these students will be among the most experienced and highly skilled graduates to enter the work force. Companies such as ours will turn to them for innovative ideas and the know-how to deliver excellent products."

    PACE creates networks for research, curriculum development, textbook development and other forms of collaboration among GM, Sun Microsystems, EDS and academia. In addition to the hardware, software and training donated by the three core partners, PACE institutions receive a substantial contribution of MSC.ADAMS (Automatic Dynamic Analysis of Mechanical Systems) software from MSC Software Corp.

    Altair Engineering, a software supplier to GM, also has agreed to provide its HyperWorks software products, as part of PACE, to Purdue University. This software complements Unigraphics and MSC.ADAMS in GM's math-based vehicle development processes.

    Purdue becomes the 19th institution to benefit from the PACE initiative. Since its inception in 1999, the corporate partnership has donated software, hardware, training and technical support with an in-kind value of more than $1.3 billion.

    Strategically selected universities are invited to participate in the program based on their ability to meet specific criteria, including:

  • A long-term relationship with GM as a primary educational partner with a strong recruiting relationship.

  • Strength in design, engineering and manufacturing fields related to systems and product design.

  • The institution's current and intended interest in developing collaborative product development and manufacturing curricula utilizing PACE products and processes.

  • The institution's current and intended curricula that involve automotive processes and/or automotive industry focus.

    At Purdue the School of Technology will receive 792 software package licenses. The engineering schools will receive 413 license packages. Additional software will be offered in the future.

    Students at Purdue will use the same advanced math-based engineering and design tools in the classroom that GM engineers used in the lab to design the award-winning 2002 Chevy Avalanche and GMC Envoy. Using Unigraphics software from EDS' PLM Solutions, students will learn to design, engineer and validate products in a virtual world to prepare them to address real-world challenges, such as accelerated product development cycles and increased productivity demands.

    "We are committed to improving the technical stature of academic institutions and their ability to develop topnotch engineers and technologists for our global communities, customers and business partners," said Dave Shook, central region president for EDS PLM Solutions. "We believe that EDS must help academic institutions increase the skills of the work force, introduce the most advanced technologies and improve product life cycle management. We are proud to team with Purdue's strong academic leaders and gifted students in this important collaborative initiative."

    Linda P.B. Katehi (kuh-TAY-hee), the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering, said the PACE partners' gift brings contemporary relevance to Purdue's traditionally rigorous engineering curricula.

    "With this generous gift, our students will be even better prepared to enter a workplace where engineering, design, modeling, analysis, simulation and manufacturing merge into a single process," Katehi said. "Our students will be among the leaders of engineering productivity in the workplace where data can be shared across design, engineering and manufacturing."

    Dennis R. Depew, dean of the School of Technology, said his school has historically thrived on creating and maintaining strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with business and industry, citing industry support for laboratory facilities.

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    "One goal of the School of Technology is to offer curricula and educational experiences that will allow our graduates to successfully compete in the international business arena," he said. "This new PACE partnership will provide our faculty and students access to state-of-the-art technology and tools, which will help prepare future engineers and technologists to compete and win in the global marketplace."

    E. Dan Hirleman, professor and the William E. and Florence E. Perry head of the School of Mechanical Engineering, said the PACE gift helps meet many of the school's core missions.

    "In Purdue mechanical engineering we pride ourselves as being leaders in providing an educational program that balances computer simulation and hands-on experimentation," he said.

    "The traditional 'make-it-and-break-it' approach to design optimization, which does not draw on the fundamental engineering principles embodied in the software tools, is too expensive. This software donation complements our large investment in comprehensive laboratory facilities and equipment to provide the very best for our students."

    PACE already has made donations to universities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and China. They are: Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, University of Missouri-Rolla, Tuskegee University, Kettering University, Northwestern University, Prairie View A&M University, Virginia Tech, University of Waterloo, University of Toronto, Queen's University, Instituto Politecnico Nacional, the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Toluca, Monterrey and Mexico campuses), Universidad Iberoamericana, the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico and Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.

    PACE plans to provide gifts to an additional seven universities in North America and Europe by March.

    The PACE gift celebration is part of Discover Purdue Week, during which the university is unveiling its fund-raising campaign. Events during the week include other campaign gift announcements, Homecoming, groundbreakings, Bill Cosby's campus show and Boilermaker football.

    Writer: Grant A. Flora, (765) 494-2073,

    Sources: Martin C. Jischke, (765) 494-9708

    Linda P.B. Katehi, (765) 494-5346,

    Denis R. Depew (765) 494-2552,

    E. Dan Hirleman, (765) 494-5688,

    For Detroit-area GM sources: Andrew Schreck, (586) 492-3582, (248) 894-3836 (cell),

    EDS: Larry Harrison, (248) 265-3242,

    Sun Microsystems: Doron Aronson (408) 276-6021,

    NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Broadcast-quality audio from the PACE announcement will be available at Advance B-roll of students and employees of Allison Transmission Division of General Motors in Indianapolis and Purdue students using PACE software is available by contacting Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077, A satellite uplink of the B-roll and gift announcement on the Purdue campus will be available at 3 p.m. (central time) on Thursday (9/26). The coordinates are SBS 6 TRANSPONDER 6; U/L: 14147.500 MHZ HORIZONTAL; D/L:11847.500 MHZ VERTICAL; ALLOCATED BANDWIDTH (MHZ) 43.000

    Related story:
    GM designs digital future for its cars – and future employees


    Frank Colvin, a Purdue University alumnus and General Motors vice president for fuel cell activities, announces an in-kind software gift to Purdue today (Thursday, 9/26) during a news conference at the West Lafayette campus. The software, with a commercial value of $116.1 million, represents the largest corporate gift ever made to the university. The gift is part of a program called PACE (Partners for the Advancement of Computer-Aided design, engineering and manufacturing Education), which is an alliance among GM, EDS and Sun Microsystems to put their proprietary software into university engineering and technology curricula. (University News Service photo by David Umberger)

    A publication-quality photograph is available at


    Representatives from General Motors Corp., Sun Microsystems and EDS present Purdue University President Martin C. Jischke (right) with a giant CD-ROM symbolizing the largest corporate gift in Purdue history an in-kind donation with a commercial value of $116.1 million. The gift announcement was made today (Thursday, 9/26) at a news conference at Purdue's West Lafayette campus. The three corporations have formed an alliance called PACE, Partners for the Advancement of CAD/CAM/CAE Education. PACE will donate to Purdue 1,205 computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering software packages identical to those used by General Motors in automotive design. The gift will prepare Purdue students to step directly from the classroom into the corporate world. From left are Ed Arlin, EDS' president of Global GM Account, PLM Solutions; Willard Richart, Sun Microsystems' director and client executive, GM Global Enterprise; Frank Colvin, GM vice president for fuel cell activities; and Jischke.

    A publication-quality photograph is available at


    Tyrone Muslim, a Purdue University sophomore in mechanical engineering, demonstrates the design software he used this summer while an intern at GM offices in Detroit. Muslim, from Chicago, will be able to use the same system in his studies thanks to an in-kind gift with a commercial value of $116 million from PACE to Purdue. General Motors Corp., Sun Microsystems and EDS united to form the Partners for the Advancement of CAD/CAM/CAE Education, or PACE, to provide computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering software packages identical to those used by General Motors in automotive design. (Purdue News Service Photo by David Umberger)

    A publication-quality photograph is available at

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