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UT Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering Receives $37 Million In-kind Grant from Siemens PLM Software

EcoCAR 3The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has received an in-kind software grant from Siemens PLM Software estimated at $37 million for use in the Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering (MABE) Department.

The grant gives students access to the same technology used by automotive manufacturers, aerospace developers and high-tech electronics companies.

The software will be used by the EcoCAR3 program, led by Research Associate Professor David “Butch” Irick, who serves as faculty adviser for the team.

“It is certainly no understatement to say that a grant of this nature is a major boost,” said Wayne Davis, dean of the College of Engineering. “This will certainly make a difference to the efforts of Butch Irick and his students working on EcoCAR3.”

The software—specifically NX™ software for computer-aided engineering and Teamcenter® for Product Lifecycle Management, or PLM—will be used by UT’s EcoCar3 team as it begins the first year of its competition. PLM software does exactly what the name implies by helping oversee the life of a product from the drawing board to eventual retirement.

Irick and his students have participated in all but one of the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions over the past 20 years, and contributions such as Siemens’ have proved critical over that time.

“Having support like this grant makes taking part in the EcoCAR competition a reality,” said Irick. “It would be extremely challenging, to say the least, without the generosity of companies like Siemens.”

“Anytime you get an industrial giant like Siemens to boost your program with a gift such as this, everyone wins,” said Matthew Mench, department head of MABE. “The students in the department are exposed to the state-of-the-art software, which will prepare them for top jobs after graduation. The department wins with the recognition that the support from a company like Siemens brings, and the EcoCAR3 project will benefit from having this software available to improve the design for the next generation hybrid electric vehicle to be developed by Dr. Irick and the student team.”

An in-kind grant serves as a way for corporations to provide much-needed resources or material to programs by eliminating the extra step of having to use traditional monetary grants for purchasing.

For Siemens, supporting programs like UT’s provides the added benefit of ensuring that the best and brightest students in the U.S. have a better chance to compete with those from universities around the world.

“Siemens PLM Software is dedicated to helping develop the next generation of highly trained and highly qualified engineers and technologists,” said Bill Boswell, the company’s senior director of partner strategy. “Our academic partnership with UT encourages students to pursue careers that will revitalize manufacturing in the U.S. and around the world.”

The EcoCAR3 competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, is focused on the ability of university teams to take a Chevrolet Camaro and convert it into a hybrid vehicle without sacrificing any of the “muscle car” persona that the auto conveys.

Tennessee is one of 16 schools in the competition, which pairs engineering students with business and communications students as part of the overall team goal of designing, marketing and advertising the vehicle.

For more on Siemens PLM Software, visit

For more on EcoCAR3, visit

Teamcenter and NX are trademarks or registered trademarks of Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries. 
C O N T A C T :David Goddard | 865-974-0683,
Kathy Williams | 865-974-8615,