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EDS Gives Record-Breaking $53.5 Million Gift to UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Software will help school attract top students, prepare them for career success

By Mary Cochrane

Release Date: July 17, 2003

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- EDS, the world's largest independent information technology services company, has given an in-kind software donation valued at $53.5 million to the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) as part of UB's "The Campaign for UB: Generation to Generation."

The largest gift in UB history, the software will allow engineering students to conceive, design, engineer and validate products using the same tools used by today's leading manufacturing companies.

UB President William R. Greiner announced today at a press conference that the EDS gift pushes the campaign over its goal of $250 million.

Jeremy M. Jacobs, '60, chair of the UB Council and honorary chair of "The Campaign for UB: Generation to Generation," said the campaign total now stands at $281.8 million. "The Campaign for UB," Jacobs noted, will be accepting and crediting gifts through Sept. 12. The campaign's final total will be announced on Sept. 19.

Praising EDS, Greiner said the university is "tremendously grateful to EDS for their extraordinary leadership in providing this historic and groundbreaking gift to UB -- a gift that is visionary in both scope and content.

"This revolutionary software is a major advancement for UB and for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, ensuring that SEAS remains at the cutting-edge of engineering education and professional preparation," he added. "Since this technology is utilized by industry leaders, our engineering students not only will become fluent in industry standards, but literally will have the future of engineering at their fingertips."

Greiner said that "as EDS is entered into the tomes of UB history, it seems to me very fitting that their outstanding gift asks us all to look ahead with excitement and confidence to the future. The generosity and commitment to our university community shown by EDS is nothing short of inspirational, and we thank them for joining us in our firm belief that even as we continue to break new and better ground at UB, the best is yet to come."

Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Delaware North Companies, Inc., said EDS's gift underscores the strength and vitality of "The Campaign for UB," even as it approaches the finish line.

"This is a wonderful gift for the university and certainly points to the great partnerships that the university is building across Western New York, New York State, the United States and the world. These partnerships help create the finest university imaginable for our students," he added.

Jennifer A. McDonough, UB vice president for university advancement, praised EDS as an important partner for the university and its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

"This gift is an extraordinary example of the importance to, and impact of, corporate collaborations with the university," McDonough said. "As significant as the sheer size of this contribution will be the legacy of how it will enhance the education and training of future engineers and scientists."

The EDS gift includes state-of-the-art software currently in use at leading global manufacturing companies worldwide, according to Hulas King, director of global strategic partnerships for EDS PLM Solutions.

"Today's leading companies compete on the basis of quality, time to market, product cost, innovative value, flexible processes and product variation," King said.

"Students must have the opportunity to gain experience with the technology that supports these objectives to find employment with these companies," he added. "EDS has worked with UB in other areas to prepare students for success in the digital economy. We are pleased now to team up with the strong academic leaders and talented students in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to support the school's vision of innovation and education leadership."

EDS has given similar gifts to a number of academic institutions, including the University of Michigan, Virginia Tech and Texas A&M.

SEAS Dean Mark H. Karwan said the software will help the school continue to attract top-notch students and prepare them for career success. The engineering school's alumni and its major corporate partners, such as Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems and American Axel & Manufacturing, are very pleased that UB students will be trained in the software, he noted.

"This gives our students the ability to master the world's most cutting-edge design software, used by entire major-industry sectors," Karwan said. "It enhances our reputation as a leading source of engineering talent.

"We're also very pleased that this gift to the school is the largest in UB's history and helps put UB's campaign well over the top," he added.

The EDS software includes product lifecycle management tools for computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), computer-aided engineering (CAE), visualization and collaborative product development. The comprehensive portfolio of software solutions will be used by more than 700 undergraduate and graduate students each year primarily in UB's departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Industrial Engineering.

Venkat Krovi, Ph.D., assistant professor in the mechanical and aerospace engineering department, who wrote the proposal that resulted in EDS' historic gift-in-kind to UB, said the software's many benefits will be of immeasurable value to SEAS students.

Using the technology tools, students will be able to create parts and assembly drawings, simulate the operation of mechanisms and machinery, and evaluate quantitatively the performance of virtual designs, a process called "virtual prototyping," Krovi said. This maximizes the design quality while minimizing, if not eliminating, the expense of having to create multiple physical prototypes.

"Using a virtual prototype, we can go one step further in the design of a product and have students simulate how it works," Krovi said. "This is the part where things get interesting, because we now have the ability to model and to analyze products, and we can make changes in the design of the product and see how those changes influence the outcome we are aiming for."

The software also is available for students to install on home computers, providing them with a daily, hands-on opportunity to put into practice the principles they learn in classroom lectures.

"At UB, we would like to train our engineers to understand the links between the theories that we teach them and the tools that will help them do procedures bigger and faster," Krovi added.

He said that as a result, SEAS students will graduate with experience in the engineering techniques and computer programs they will use in their careers.

"Having our students exposed to technology like this gives them a great advantage," Krovi said. "The faculty are here to teach them sound mathematical principles, but they also benefit from learning these technology tools. Students used to get this experience through training on the job, but today, the earlier their exposure, the better off they can be."

EDS, the world's largest independent information technology services company, provides strategy, implementation, business transformation and operational solutions for clients managing the business and technology complexities of the digital economy. It brings together the world's best technologies to address critical client business imperatives. It helps clients eliminate boundaries, collaborate in new ways, establish their customers' trust and continuously seek improvement. EDS, with its management-consulting subsidiary, A.T. Kearney, serves the world's leading companies and governments in 60 countries. EDS reported revenues of $21.5 billion in 2002. The company's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: EDS) and the London Stock Exchange. Learn more at eds.com.

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