U Houston ID Earns Record Breaking Grant

The site of IDSA's South District Design Conference 2017—the industrial design program at Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design at the University of Houston—has received an in-kind grant from Siemens PLM reported to be worth more than $66 million in software, educational materials and training. Industrial Design Assistant Professor Jorge Camba, who applied for the grant, believes this is the largest in-kind grant received by the program.

"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," he says, adding that the program initially will incorporate the software into Computer Aided Industrial Design I and II courses by this summer or fall.

"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," says Camba.

He believes the grant will give students a "significant competitive advantage" in ever-changing design fields. "You will also be able to look at production, fabrication, cost analysis, human factors, ergonomics," he explains.

EunSook Kwon, PhD, IDSA, director of the University of Houston's ID program who developed the orginial curriculum, and who served as a speaker at IDSA's 2016 Education Symposium, says the software integrates design, engineering and manufacturing, "so the students are getting the whole picture of what the product development process is."

In 2003, the Univeristy of Houston's ID program became the first of its kind in the four-state region of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico.