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In-kind software grant from Siemens PLM Software

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University today announced it received an in-kind software grant from Siemens PLM Software.

The in-kind grant gives WSU students access to the same technology that companies around the world depend on every day to develop innovative products in a wide variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, machinery, shipbuilding, high-tech electronics and many more.

Graduates with this type of software training are highly-recruited candidates for advanced technology jobs.

The in-kind grant was provided by the Siemens PLM Software’s academic program that delivers PLM software for schools at every academic level. Siemens PLM Software is a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services.

The in-kind grant for WSU includes Siemens PLM Software’s NX™ software, a leading integrated solution for computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE).

Students designed and built an unmanned surveillance aircraft for wildland firefighting.
Students designed and built an unmanned surveillance aircraft for wildland firefighting.

“By using the same technology in the classroom that is used by companies all over the world to develop a wide variety of products, our students gain important real- world experience during their studies that will serve them well after graduation,’’ said Candis Claiborn, dean of the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.  “We are excited to work with Siemens PLM Software to provide industry-leading technology in the classroom.”

WSU students in Pullman and Everett will use the software in their senior mechanical engineering capstone design courses and, in particular, as part of the AerosPACE, or Aerospace Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering, program. The Boeing Company started AerosPACE in 2013 to give students real-world collaboration practice before entering the job market. Students in the program work two semesters as part of a multi-disciplinary team with students from several other universities as well as with industry partners on designing, building, and flying an unmanned aerial vehicle. WSU’s Everett program is led by Professor Xiaopeng Bi.

This year, the students developed an unmanned surveillance aircraft for wildland firefighting. Effectively controlling tens of thousands of fires a year around the country requires tight coordination of personnel, vehicles, equipment, and time, according to Bi. Firefighters need to augment their information about wildfire growth affordably in real time.  An unmanned surveillance aircraft can lower costs and provide a safer alternative to a manned aircraft. The students successfully tested and flew their plane in April.

“This partnership enables us to meet the needs of employers and prepare students for these significant high-paying STEM careers,” said Bi.

“Siemens PLM Software is dedicated to helping develop the next generation of highly trained and highly qualified engineers and technologists,’’ said Dora Smith, global director, Academic Partner Program, Siemens PLM Software. “Our academic partnership with WSU encourages students to pursue careers that will revitalize manufacturing in the U.S. and around the world.”

Note: NX is a trademark or registered trademark of Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries.


Michael Kessler, Berry Family Director and Professor, School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, (509) 335-8654,

Tina Hilding, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture communications, (509) 335-5095,

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