WUHAN, China —— The Wuhan University of Technology (WHUT) recently held an opening ceremony for its new Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) Centre. PACE provides Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) and Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) software and hardware, to learning institutions worldwide. This is preparing students for careers in design and engineering.
During the ceremony, the WHUT PACE Centre received a donation of engineering and design software and hardware valued at $433 million from several PACE Partner companies, including Autodesk, HP, Siemens and Oracle. WHUT is the fourth institution in China to participate in the PACE Programme, joining Shanghai Jiaotong University, Tongji University and Jilin University.
“We appreciate the support of the PACE Programme and its partner companies,” said WHUT President Zhang Qingjie. “It will provide vital experience using the latest design and engineering tools that our students will use on the job.”
GM and its partners have donated more than $1.2 billion in facilities and software to four universities in China through the PACE project.
PACE is an alliance between five partner companies, GM, Siemens PLM Software, Autodesk, Hewlett Packard and Oracle, joined by 16 other software and hardware contributors, that helps the next generation of automotive engineers and designers get a head start in using advanced digital tools. Since the organisation was founded in 1999, GM, Autodesk, Oracle, Hewlett Packard, and Siemens PLM Software have partnered to contribute nearly $12 billion in design, engineering, manufacturing, and collaboration software, hardware, equipment and training to 64 institutions in North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. PACE also provides opportunities for students to work on real-life technical projects at PACE companies, including GM, worldwide.
Last year, almost 40 percent of engineering and design graduates hired by GM and its joint ventures in China – including SGMW and PATAC – attended PACE schools. These young professionals had an advantage due to the practical experience they acquired using leading-edge digital tools while at the university level, as well as through their participation in PACE-sponsored vehicle collaboration projects and competitions. One ongoing PACE competition involves more than 300 students from 33 universities in 12 countries. Their mission is to design a Portable Assisted Mobility Device solution to address transportation challenges posed in megacities by population growth, global warming and the depletion of natural resources.
“We are actively leveraging PACE and our cooperation with universities such as WHUT to help train and recruit graduates who are not only talented but have real-world expertise in design, engineering and manufacturing,” said SGMW Executive Vice President Ray Bierzynski. “These individuals are able to make a valuable contribution from their first day at our company.”
The new PACE Centre will benefit students enrolled in WHUT’s School of Automotive Engineering as well as the Schools of Science, Electrical, Mechanical and Art and Design. Being involved in PACE also helps students develop and improve their foreign language skills, product design and development capabilities, collaboration skills, design experience and research strengths.
SGMW and WHUT have an ongoing cooperative relationship, having worked together to prepare automotive professionals for their future careers. “We recruit on average 40 new employees from WHUT annually,” according to Yuan Zhijun, Vice President of SGMW. “Working with PACE, we hope to help even more university talent develop world-class competence so that they can become high-quality contributors to the development of China’s automotive industry.”
SGMW offers a scholarship for WHUT students, jointly operates a laboratory at WHUT and has played a significant role promoting curriculum development and personnel training in WHUT’s Automotive Engineering, Mechanical and Electrical, Materials Science, and Management Colleges.
Leo Liang, Managing Director of Greater China, Siemens PLM Software, said: “We are honoured to join the PACE Programme and to provide the world’s leading PLM technologies to WHUT students by helping them to grow into excellent engineers. I believe with this programme, WHUT students will find that their Siemens PLM skills will help and accelerate China’s manufacturing transformation process from low value high volume goods to high value, high quality and digital manufacturing in China.”
“HP Enterprise Services and our Product Lifecycle Management practice is a long term partner in PACE and is excited in our global commitment to the mission of PACE,” added Rob Link, Siemens PLM Practice Director.
Autodesk representative Pat Williams, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets, commented, “Autodesk is proud to support the partnership with General Motors and PACE. We are committed to providing educational institutions and students with access to leading design technology. We support the innovation potential of the next generation of designers, engineers and architects.”
WHUT is a leading Chinese university accredited by the Ministry of Education. It was constructed as a priority of State Project 211 for Chinese higher education institutions. WHUT possesses 27 innovative research centres, including two State Key Laboratories, a State Engineering Laboratory, and provincial- and ministerial-level laboratories that are doing work on new materials, new energy, transportation and logistics, mechatronics and automotive, and information technology as well as natural resources and environmental technology. WHUT has established cooperative relations for student exchange and scientific research with more than 100 foreign universities and research institutions in the U.S., the U.K., Japan, France, Australia, Russia, the Netherlands and other countries, and invited over 200 world-famous scholars to be guest professors or honorary professors.
SGMW, founded in 2002, is a joint venture of GM China, SAIC and Wuling Motors. It is based in Liuzhou, Guangxi. SGMW builds and sells mini-commercial vehicles under the Wuling brand and passenger cars under the Baojun brand. SGMW has manufacturing operations in Liuzhou and Qingdao. Its plant in Chongqing will open in 2015.
General Motors traces its roots back to 1908. In China, GM has 12 joint ventures, two wholly owned foreign enterprises and more than 58,000 employees. GM and its joint ventures offer the broadest lineup of vehicles and brands among automakers in China. Passenger cars and commercial vehicles are sold under the Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jiefang, Opel and Wuling brands. In 2013, GM sold nearly 3.2 million vehicles in China. Its new manufacturing base in Wuhan will begin production of vehicles and powertrains next year.
Siemens PLM Software is a world-leading provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software, systems and services with nine million licensed seats and 77,000 customers worldwide. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Siemens PLM Software helps thousands of companies make great products by optimising their lifecycle processes, from planning and development through manufacturing and support. Siemens PLM Software’s HD-PLM vision is to give everyone involved in making a product the information they need, when they need it, to make the smartest decision.