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$13.2M software grant boosts Watson School

Mohammad Khasawneh, assistant professor of systems science and industrial engineering, explains how the new software donated by UGS Corp. can help design safer and more ergonomic tasks for factory workers.
UGS Corp., a global provider of product lifecycle management software and services, has donated software with a commercial value of $13.2 million to Binghamton University. The in-kind grant is the largest in University history.

Texas-based UGS will provide digital manufacturing simulation software from its Tecnomatix suite of products, which is used by major international companies to improve the ergonomics of product design and workplace tasks.

The software will enable undergraduate and graduate students in industrial and systems science engineering classes to create digital humans of various sizes in virtual environments, assign them tasks and analyze their performance. This information helps organizations improve the ergonomics of product design and create workplace tasks that are safer and more effective.

In 2004 and 2005, UGS provided the University with grants of Solid Edge, 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software, which has been made available to all undergraduate and graduate students in the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science.

“UGS’ ongoing support allows Binghamton University students to gain valuable hands-on experience using leading industrial software,” President Lois B. DeFleur said.

“The advances that our University can make by bringing together our bright students with inspired faculty and corporate friends such as UGS enhance the value of student experience at Binghamton University,” she added. “These kinds of partnerships open many doors for instructional and research developments across our campus and have the potential to forge innovative relationships with small to mid-sized businesses in Greater Binghamton and across New York State.”

The grant is being made through UGS’ Global Opportunities in Product Lifecycle Management (GO PLM) initiative, which provides PLM technology to more than 860,000 students annually at nearly 8,400 institutions around the world.

“This software will provide Binghamton University undergraduate and graduate students with the same tools used in product innovation efforts by some of the world’s leading global manufacturers,” said Charles R. Westgate, dean of the Watson School. “A wide range of Fortune 100 and Global 50 companies use UGS’ software and solutions, so having our students gain experience with this cutting-edge technology will prepare them to be leaders in a global work environment.”

Under the guidance of Mohammad Khasawneh, assistant professor of systems science and industrial engineering, Tecnomatix tools are also expected to create collaborations across the University’s academic environment.

“This software will initially be used to enhance our human factors instruction, but it has potential for so much more,” Khasawneh said. “The flexibility of Binghamton’s academic environment will foster and encourage unique partnerships across disciplines to serve both instructional and research opportunities. We are also looking forward to the possibility of working with UGS to generate next-generation products to serve an even broader clientele.”

Tecnomatix also could aid small to mid-sized businesses in Greater Binghamton and across the state through partnerships in Binghamton University’s Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR) program. These projects would offer businesses access to services that combine this industrial software and University expertise.

Michael Mercincavage, executive director of SPIR, said he hopes to work with area ARCs and sheltered workshops to analyze activities in which workers are prone to repetitive stress injuries. Improving work sites can help employers avoid production efficiency losses, he said.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08