$21.7 Million Gift Provides Full Access to Autodesk Software

Students at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, will have unprecedented access to world-class animation and modeling software thanks to a gift, valued at $21.7 million, from Autodesk, a leading global developer of 3D design, engineering and entertainment software.

This is the first time Autodesk has provided full access to its top products through a grant of software to a college or university. The gift – the largest ever at Penn State Behrend – will give students access to three key software suites:

• Education Master Suite, which includes advanced 3D CAD and engineering analysis tools

• Simulation Moldflow, a fast, accurate and flexible design tool for plastic injection molding

• Entertainment Creation Suite, which was used to animate the last 17 films that won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects

Faculty members in the college’s School of Engineering and professors in chemistry, psychology, game design and management information systems already are using the software. Every student and faculty member at Penn State Behrend has access to it.

Students also can become certified in Autodesk Simulation Moldflow by taking an exam that will be administered annually on campus.

“Graduates of Penn State Behrend and its School of Engineering have enjoyed a rich employment track record, and with access to this software, they will be even better positioned for success,” said Ralph Ford, director of the School of Engineering. “This gift will also support the future growth of Penn State Behrend as we develop new interdisciplinary programs that fuse the humanities, the arts and advanced digital technologies.”

The Autodesk products will jump-start the college’s digital arts, media and technology initiative, which blends film and video game development with other advanced simulation work. Penn State Behrend’s K-12 STEM outreach efforts, including the Math Options, Upward Bound and Women in Engineering programs, also will use the software.

“Partnering with Penn State Behrend allows us to put sophisticated simulation software into the hands of future engineers, scientists and artists,” said Tom Cameron, vice president of manufacturing sales at Autodesk. “This significant partnership reinforces our commitment to providing students and educators with the resources they need to inspire the next generation of professionals.”

The Autodesk gift also advances the University’s current fundraising campaign, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. That initiative is the most ambitious in Penn State’s history, with a goal of securing $2 billion by June 2014.