PULLMAN, Wash. — Hewlett-Packard Company has awarded a grant of
$74,000 worth of industry-standard equipment to Washington State University
to establish a new engineering graphics instruction laboratory.

The grant will establish a dedicated facility for teaching entry-level
computer-aided engineering graphics and design in the required
freshman-level course in mechanical and civil engineering, according to Uma
Jayaram, author of the proposal that secured the grant and faculty coordinator
for the engineering graphics course.

The facility, to be located in the college of engineering and architecture’s
Sloan Hall, will be equipped with 27 new HP Kayak Pentium III computers,
19-inch monitors and networked printers to support the design classes. About
300 students each year will use the new equipment. Creating a laboratory
specifically for the engineering graphics course is a college priority because
the quality of instruction in this new facility will impact recruitment and
retention of students as well as graduates’ performance as interns and as
professionals.

The award was made as part of the company’s U.S. University Grants program,
which seeks to improve the quality of higher education by providing HP
products to four-year colleges and universities that integrate technology with
teaching to improve student learning and establish high academic standards.
The program is highly competitive, and normally only one in every five
proposals is funded, Jayaram said.

A major benefit will be enhanced hands-on practice and facility with AutoCAD
software, one of the principal tools used in industry. With AutoCAD, students
learn to apply concepts introduced in lectures and hand drafting labs, Jayaram
said.

“Until now, students have acquired their basic CAD skills on older model
UNIX workstations, also donated by HP several years ago. However,
AutoCAD software is no longer supported on UNIX machines.”

WSU ranks in HP’s top 20 preferred schools nationwide, and the company
recruits top students from the schools of electrical engineering and computer
science, and mechanical and materials engineering, and also from the college of
business and economics.

Hewlett Packard has donated workstations, PCs, and other equipment in past
years to support instruction and research at all of WSU’s campuses.

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