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Research / Discovery

Siemens awards $44.5 Million in in-kind software to CSU for EcoCAR2 design

October 6, 2011

Siemens AG has awarded Colorado State University $44.5 million worth of in-kind software designed to teach students to manage large, complex projects - the largest in-kind software grant in university history.

Professor Tom Bradley's senior design team that is working on EcoCAR2Colorado State received 40 Siemens PLM Software licenses for its participation in an exclusive national hybrid/electric vehicle design competition called EcoCAR2. Thomas Bradley, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is leading one of only 16 university teams around the nation that are working to build a hybrid electric Chevrolet Malibu made by General Motors.

Siemens a national sponsor of EcoCAR competition

Siemens PLM Software is a national sponsor of EcoCAR2, which is run by the U.S. Department of Energy and GM. The software grant to Colorado State has a commercial value of $44.5 million.

“With this very generous grant, Siemens has given Colorado State University the ability to provide extraordinary learning opportunities for our students from engineering and other disciplines,” said President Tony Frank. “In turn, this helps us provide Siemens and other companies with a well-trained workforce that is knowledgeable about state-of-the-art technology used in the field. This is a win-win for everyone.”

Siemens’ software grant represents the largest in-kind software grant ever to Colorado State University, which is significant to the university’s first comprehensive campaign, the Campaign for Colorado State University, said Brett Anderson, vice president for University Advancement. For more information about the campaign, go to

A gracious gesture, says CSU VP Brett Anderson

“Siemens has been very gracious with this in-kind gesture to provide world-class software to our flagship university,” Anderson said. “We are grateful that they are interested in improving our student curriculum and faculty potential, particularly with our leading-edge hybrid/electric vehicle research.”

“Siemens PLM Software provides Colorado State University access to PLM technology, which otherwise would be out of reach for the academic community, giving students a distinct advantage by being able to use the same PLM technology widely used by leading multi-national manufacturing companies around the globe,” said Rich Ramsey, vice president, Partners & Components, Siemens PLM Software. “The experience gained in the use of these tools better prepares students for today’s highly competitive manufacturing jobs requiring full knowledge of modern technologies and tools.”

Siemens has awarded similar grants to the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, Rutgers University and Virginia Tech, among others.

Engineering, journalism students involved in project

GM and the U.S. Department of Energy announced the EcoCAR teams in April. At Colorado State, students will spend the next three years re-engineering the Malibu at the university’s Motorsports Engineering Research Center and Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory. The program challenges teams to convert the car into a hybrid/electric or fuel-cell vehicle to reduce its environmental impact without compromising performance, safety and consumer acceptability.

CSU’s EcoCAR program is a cross-university collaboration including students and faculty from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication.

Bradley has assembled 40 students, many of them in senior design classes in mechanical and electrical and computer engineering, to build a fuel-cell vehicle. Some students spent the summer preparing for the project by constructing “neighborhood” electric vehicles at the CSU Motorsports Engineering Research Center.

Unique opportunity for student learning

Tom Bradley, assistant professor of mechanical engineeringBradley is particularly excited about the unique opportunities provided by the Siemens software.“Siemens wants us to train students in this software used in industry so when they hear words like ‘product lifecycle management,’ students know what we’re talking about,” he said. “Thanks to their generosity, we’re getting the most advanced project management and engineering tools into the hands of our students.”

His students also will have an opportunity not provided other EcoCAR teams – the ability to plug in and test electric vehicles directly on the traditional electric grid. Colorado State is home to InteGrid, a unique laboratory operated in partnership with Fort Collins Utilities and Spirae to develop the control systems and test the infrastructure necessary at the utility scale to integrate more renewable sources into the electric grid.

Contact: Emily Wilmsen
Phone: (970) 491-2336