NI LabVIEW Becomes Integral Part of Curriculum at Top-Ranked Virginia Tech

3/26/2003 - National Instruments, a global leader in virtual instrumentation, announced that students in the top-ranked Virginia Tech department of mechanical engineering are gaining hands-on programming experience using NI LabVIEW graphical development software as part of their curriculum. With a LabVIEW donation from NI, all junior-year mechanical engineering students also receive licensed copies of the software to use in completing assignments in the lab and at home.

"The donation of LabVIEW software from NI and the company's ongoing support of the university are opening many doors for our students," said Dr. Harry Robertshaw, professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech. "Our students have the opportunity to gain in-depth, hands-on experience using industry-standard LabVIEW software, an invaluable skill in today's marketplace."

NI donated copies of LabVIEW software for every student in Mechanical Engineering Lab I, a required course for mechanical engineering students at Virginia Tech. The students use LabVIEW to configure virtual instruments (VIs) and acquire, analyze and present data for a variety of applications from calibrating a pressure transducer to opening a soda can. According to Dr. Robertshaw, with LabVIEW installed on students' personal computers, they can quickly and conveniently create VIs for lab assignments. As part of its commitment to Virginia Tech, NI is also training faculty and offering technical support.

"Learning how to program with LabVIEW and build virtual instruments gives students an edge after graduation, and working with Virginia Tech is an exciting chance for us to give students that opportunity," said Ray Almgren, National Instruments vice president of product marketing and academic relations. "Now, with access to LabVIEW outside the classroom, students can explore its intuitive features and develop programming skills that can go beyond the curriculum."

About the Virginia Tech Department of Mechanical Engineering
The Department of Mechanical Engineering is one of the largest departments within Virginia Tech's College of Engineering, awarding approximately 220 undergraduate, 60 masters of Science, and 10 Doctoral degrees annually. Virginia Tech's programs in Mechanical Engineering are consistently ranked in the top 10 to 15 percent of Mechanical Engineering Departments in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Currently, the undergraduate program is ranked 17th nationally according to the 2002 U.S. News & World Report rankings.

About National Instruments
For more than 26 years, National Instruments ( has revolutionized the way engineers and scientists work by delivering virtual instrumentation solutions built on rapidly advancing commercial technologies, including industry-standard computers and the Internet. NI increases productivity for customers worldwide by delivering easy-to-integrate software, such as the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, and modular hardware, such as PXI modules for data acquisition and instrumentation. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 3,000 employees and direct operations in 40 countries. In 2002, the company sold products to more than 25,000 different companies in more than 80 countries around the world. For the past four consecutive years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

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