8/6/2003 - In an effort to increase the number of engineers graduating from Texas universities, National Instruments announced an in-kind donation of more than $400,000 of equipment and training to engineering and computer science programs at Texas universities. The donation is part of a collaborative effort with the Texas Engineering and Technology Consortium (TETC), a joint initiative between private industry, Texas universities and the State of Texas created in 2001 to increase electrical engineering and computer science graduates in Texas.
"Technology industry growth in Texas is important to the health of our economy," said Tegwin Pulley, chair of the TETC Board. "By working with universities to engage students through interactive, hands-on learning, National Instruments is helping universities graduate more qualified engineers to help fuel this growth."
As part of this effort to graduate more qualified engineers, National Instruments is offering LabVIEW site licenses and the NI Educational Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite (NI ELVIS), a LabVIEW-based prototyping and measurement suite designed to enhance measurement, design and prototyping in academic classrooms, to all TETC universities in the state of Texas. The donation makes cutting-edge technology available to all electrical engineering and computer science programs in Texas and secures approximately $400,000 in additional funding for universities from the state through a fund-matching program.
"This donation helps us easily and efficiently introduce modern instrumentation into our engineering curriculum," said Tony Ambler, electrical and computer engineering department chair at the University of Texas at Austin. "With the easy-to-use NI ELVIS measurement suite, we can engage freshman to senior-level students with hands-on learning right away. This way, students not only understand theory, they also have the opportunity to test that theory with real-world experiments."
In June, faculty from 17 Texas universities representing 90 percent of the graduating electrical engineers in Texas attended a training session hosted by the University of Texas and NI. The engineering professors received hands-on training on LabVIEW 7 Express graphical development environment and the NI ELVIS platform for engineering education. They also discussed strategies for implementing NI software and hardware into their curriculum to deliver a more effective project-based learning experience to their students.
National Instruments will host another training session for staff, faculty and graduate assistants at universities using NI ELVIS and LabVIEW during NIWeek 2003, the company's annual worldwide virtual instrumentation conference held Aug. 13 to 15 in Austin. At this training, Paul Dixon, physics professor from California State University and creator of the original concept and design of NI ELVIS, will speak about incorporating virtual instrumentation into science and engineering curriculum to ensure students can meet the research and design challenges they face after graduation.
The NI donation to TETC is part of the company's ongoing commitment to inspire and prepare students for careers in the fields of engineering and science. NI works with thousands of universities worldwide and offers a wide range of products, training and sponsorship for educational programs ranging from RoboLab, a LabVIEW-based software program for LEGO Mindstorms that teaches elementary school students engineering concepts; to Future Truck, a competition that challenges college students to create more fuel-efficient SUVs. For more information about National Instruments academic initiatives, readers can visit www.ni.com/academic.
About National Instruments
National Instruments (www.ni.com) is a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation -- a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists approach measurement and automation. Leveraging the PC and its related technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs for customers worldwide through easy-to-integrate software, such as the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, and modular hardware, such as PXI modules for data acquisition, instrument control and machine vision. 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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