The transportation design program at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) has been named to the Academy Member Program of Dassault Systèmes, the supplier of the CATIA software that students use in LTU’s transportation design and industrial design programs.
Thierry Collet, vice president of Global Academia & Education for Dassault, came from the company’s headquarters in France to formally award the designation on Sept. 15 to Keith Nagara, director of LTU’s transportation design program. The designation recognizes the LTU program for its “tangible efforts in increasing the benefit of Dassault Systèmes’ tools for student employability and curriculum quality.”
“We commend LTU for its unique program and for recognizing the value of providing students access to advanced product development tools,” said Collet. “Experience in tools that are common to the automotive industry allows easy transition to the real-world work force, as proven by this program’s 100 percent placement record.”
LTU transportation design and industrial design students now use Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE platform and several additional modules. In 2009, CATIA was designated as the design-tool standard for three-dimensional modeling and integrated into the curriculum starting with freshman-level classes.
Some 30 universities in several countries are in the Academy Member Program, including Georgia Institute of Technology, Ohio Northern University, and the University of South Carolina. LTU will gain contacts with the faculty and programs at those universities.
The new designation also gives LTU an edge when recruiting at two top high schools in the Metro Detroit area, Notre Dame Preparatory in Pontiac and De La Salle Collegiate High School in Warren, which are also in the Academy Member Program.
LTU’s transportation design program was created in 2007, and from the beginning students have had access to various CATIA software packages that Dassault Systèmes has provided LTU.
“CATIA is a very versatile tool that provides designers with the flexibility to approach a design solution from their perspective, eliminating tool constraints that can affect creativity. Gaining expertise in CATIA provides our students a major advantage in internships and then in their careers,” Nagara said. “Using CATIA in our academic programs has also increased our industry recognition, creating opportunities for collaboration where we’ve jointly pioneered new design processes that result in more efficient and effective product development.”
Nagara said graduates of LTU’s transportation design and industrial design programs have a 100 percent success rate in landing jobs in the auto and products industries.