A $24.1 million donation from Massachusetts software company PTC will put cutting-edge manufacturing technology in the hands of Florida Institute of Technology students. In addition, the gift will help establish the university’s new Center for Lifecycle and Innovation Management.
Florida Tech students will get access to PTC’s Creo and Windchill proprietary software programs, which are used to design three-dimensional models of new products and better manage a product’s lifecycle, including factors such as cost, environmental impact and reliability.
Twenty students will be awarded PTC scholarships in order to receive specialized training in the software programs.
Florida Tech’s partnership with PTC will help students “prepare for business and engineering careers with companies located along the Space Coast as well as around the globe,” university President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony J. Catanese said in a statement.
At the new Center for Lifecycle and Innovation Management on Florida Tech’s Melbourne campus, students in the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business and the College of Engineering will collaborate on product design and management projects.
As the complexity of the manufacturing industry has increased, so has the demand for workers with advanced educational qualifications and training in the so-called STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM occupations are high-paying and “concentrated in cutting-edge industries such as computer systems design, scientific research and development, and high-tech manufacturing industries.”
In a news release, PTC’s senior vice president of global education, John Stuart, said that “manufacturers want people [who] understand all aspects of smart, connected product design to help them make smarter decisions to build better products.”
The Needham, Mass.-based company has clients in the Melbourne area, including the Harris Corp., a global communications and information technology company, Florida Today reported.
PTC’s donation also provides a substantial boost to Florida Tech’s recently launched $100 million capital campaign, Create the Future. Ranked a Tier 1 Best National University by U.S. News & World Report, Florida Tech serves approximately 16,000 students each year at its main campus and satellite sites, as well as through its 100% online degree and certificate programs.
“Florida Tech’s goal is to be one of the 10 most respected private technological universities in the world,” Catanese said.