Industrial design program receives grant valued at $66 million
The Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design recently announced it has received an in-kind grant from Siemens PLM Software worth over $66 million.
Industrial Design assistant professor Jorge Camba Dorribo believes this is the largest in-kind grant the school has received.
The Cougar sat down with Camba Dorribo to talk about the grant he submitted.
The Cougar: Why did you decide to apply for this grant?
Jorge Camba Dorribo: It’s a great opportunity for our students to get exposed to a software like this. It’s a very unique software used extensively in the automotive industry and in the marine industry for very large scale, complex projects. I applied for the grant on my own but I found out about it from colleagues of mine from other institutions. They told me about it, and I was curious about how it would work, so I just decided to apply.
TC: What did you include in your proposal?
JCD: The proposal was actually very short and very structured. They have a template, and if I remember correctly, the proposal could be no longer than two pages. It needed to be straight to the point, telling the audience who you are, what you need the software for and how you would use it. Afterward, there is an interview, and I had to talk to three different people for about maybe an hour and a half.
TC: When will you begin using the software?
JCD: We just received the software a few weeks ago. Currently, we are in the process of setting things up and deciding which computers are going to have the software. I think it is a little too late to incorporate it next semester because the curriculum for all of the classes is already developed around the old software. But hopefully by summer or fall 2017, we can incorporate it into the classroom.
TC: Will this software only be used for the Industrial Design program?
JCD: The original idea was to only use this software for that program, but I think we will also install it in the computer labs here in the College of Architecture so architects and interior architects can use it as well. It will still mostly be used by and for Industrial Design.
TC: What will this software allow students to do?
JCD: Well, this is very sophisticated software that allows you to manage the design of a product for its entire lifecycle from ideation to production. It’s a way to centralize all the product related information into a single system while integrating engineering manufacturing fabrication. It also has a very interesting module for collaborative design so students can work in teams in very unique ways and work on a very sophisticated design with lots of parts.
TC: Is this the largest grant the ID program has received before?
JCD: It is the biggest in-kind grant we have received. The grant is not cash, but I believe it is the largest in-kind donation.
TC: What kind of opportunities do you think this grant will give students?
JC: The grant is not just the software, it’s all the educational materials, all the training. We have access to all their training materials and curriculum by Siemens, so for students to have access to that is great. The software is so expensive and not very accessible. You can’t just download a trial version and install it into your computer to test it. It’s very expensive and very unique. I think knowing how to use it will give our students a significant competitive advantage.
TC: How will the curriculum be changing for students?
JCD: We want to incorporate the software into at least two courses, computer aided industrial design I and II. We are going to progressively introduce the software first to I then II. The idea is to technically migrate to Siemens. Currently we are using a design software called Solidworks. It’s a very standard package for just design. Siemens is a much more comprehensive package. It allows you to go from not only the modeling aspect of design, but also the testing through simulation.
You will also be able to look at production, fabrication, cost analysis, human factors, ergonomics—the whole picture. It’s a much more comprehensive software by far.