$45M engineering grant goes to design

By Shikha Duttyal

The College of Engineering and Engineering Technology has received a $45.3 million software grant from Siemens, assisting students and faculty to complete the life cycle of a product design.

Siemens donated the grant to CEET for the purchase of software to assist students and faculty in product designing, including creation, designing and testing in practical scenarios. Siemens, a 165-year-old company which operates across 190 countries, works in healthcare, infrastructure and energy, among other areas. This is the second grant Siemens has awarded to NIU.

The software will be used by all the departments in the college but will reside in the Operations Research Laboratory, offering applied product life cycle management, as knowledge of product development is a key component of engineering.

“It is yet another unique opportunity to students,” said CEET Dean Promod Vohra. “We want students to be trained at the highest level.”

Vohra said CEET made a proposal in regard to the donation of software and worked with the educational division of Siemens for about six months and took a visit to the Siemens Maryland office in February. Siemens then agreed to award the college with the multi-million-dollar grant.

CEET Development Officer Todd Burns said Siemens has long-standing relations with the college.

“I think it’ll widen the array of tools that students have when obtaining their engineering degree at NIU,” Burns said. “I think it sends a loud message that our corporate partnership grows in CEET.”

Burns said the software comes with nine licensed engineering and academic software packages, licensing up to 20 machines in the research labs.

Christine Wendorf, office manager of the industrial and systems engineering department, said she was happy with the news and was excited for students to use the software.

“It would definitely help because the students will be able to develop product life cycle and get a good experience in the real career world,” Wendorf said. “The best part is that they are furnishing this to the college at no cost and it’s going to help develop growth and expertise for all engineering students.”