Siemens & UCF: 30 years of advancing the community through academic partnership

Friday, April 6, 2018 9:32 am EDT

By:

Steve Conner, CEO Siemens Energy, Inc.

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit our neighbors at the University of Central Florida (UCF) to celebrate a 30-year academic partnership between the university and Siemens. Did you know that nearly 5,000 members of our Siemens family live and work in the Orlando area, and roughly one in five of them are graduates of UCF?

Joined by our local employees and UCF leadership, faculty and students, we announced a major in-kind technology grant of Siemens’ Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software – with a commercial value of nearly $600 million dollars – to provide more than 11,000 UCF engineering and computer science students with access to the same technology used by more than 140,000 companies worldwide across energy,  automotive, aerospace, and electronics.

By incorporating hands-on PLM learning into their education, UCF students are gaining a powerful advantage that they can use to advance their careers. But this software grant isn’t Siemens’ first contribution to UCF; it’s the latest in a longstanding partnership that will continue to bolster our shared missions to advance the Orlando community, to transform industries, and to prepare the future workforce.

It all started back in 1983. Westinghouse Electric relocated to Orlando, in part to collaborate with UCF – which was originally called Florida Technological University.

In 1997, Siemens acquired Westinghouse, significantly boosting the company’s global power generation portfolio and its energy hub adjacent to UCF’s main campus. Since then, we have grown with the Orlando community and in partnership with the university.

Over the last 30 years, Siemens has invested and expanded its UCF academic partnership with the goals of fostering innovation, enhancing collaboration, advancing technology and training the next generation workforce. In fact, over the last few years, Siemens has hired nearly 20 UCF graduate students from the Siemens Energy Center alone. We’ve partnered with UCF on over 100 research projects – directly investing nearly 10 million dollars.

The relationship between Siemens and UCF is a great representation of the community-oriented nature of our company, and we are excited to enter the next phase of this academic partnership and continue advancing the world from Orlando’s backyard.

Highlights of the UCF-Siemens partnership include:

  • Siemens Energy Center:  Siemens and UCF’s College of Engineering & Computer Science together launched the Siemens Energy Center on campus 10 years ago to test and validate new technologies to be manufactured and commercialized. The center serves as the primary lab facility for UCF’s Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research (CATER) facility, where faculty and students work alongside Siemens’ experts providing experience-based learning.
  • The Center of Innovation for Diagnostics & Prognostics: Launched last year, the Center is a resource for students to design tools and methods to diagnose and solve technical problems for materials used in the energy and aerospace industries. This project is a great example of how we’re leveraging the entire ecosystem of innovation to help build a modern workforce.
  • Digital Grid Innovation Lab:  In 2017, we established the UCF Digital Grid Innovation Lab, a first-of-its kind laboratory in the United States that serves the dual-purpose of commercializing new technology and preparing a next generation workforce.

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