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Altair partnership leads to product innovation for industrial designers

Release Date: March 23, 2022

LTU design studio students demonstrate their products designed with Altair software.
LTU Photo

A partnership with a Troy engineering software company is allowing LTU students to use the latest and greatest design software to create innovative product prototypes.

Bilge Nur Saltik, assistant professor of art and design and director of LTU’s Industrial Design program, forged the partnership, now in its second year, through a social relationship with an executive at Altair Engineering Inc.

Her design studio students are using Altair’s Inspire Studio software alongside Altair’s professional team to design wearable technologies and prosthetics. 

Saltik said the class is a laboratory focused on sensors, circuits, and technology, and fitting design around that technology. The aim was enhancing the capabilities of the human body. 

This exciting partnership supports the College of Architecture and Design’s initiative to engage industry through its mid-to-senior level courses – embodying LTU’s motto of Theory + Practice. These programs allow courses to act as a think tank and testing ground for external partners while simultaneously giving students the ability to work on “real-world” projects as part of their academic journey. 

Included were products such as gloves for first responders that glowed different colors for different messages, such as “stop” or “OK” or “that way,” to help them communicate visually in difficult situations, and a safety vest that glowed brightly when exposed to light, helping keep emergency workers, roadside workers, and others safe.

“We did a workshop session where the students learned the Altair software, and used it to design a device,” Saltik said. Eight students in the junior-level class worked individually on their own ideas. 

Altair, now publicly traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange, was founded 35 years ago as an engineering services company. It developed simulation software for its own use that it later released as a product. It has since made several acquisitions, expanding its business into supercomputing management software, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and more. Its software is used by the world’s leading automotive and aerospace companies—and companies that design virtually any other physical product. It has 3,000 employees worldwide with sales split about evenly between the United States and internationally.


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