Engineering Technology students at Ferris State University have a new level of access to tool design and metal forming technology, thanks to a generous gift from industry partner AutoForm Engineering.
AutoForm is recognized as the leading provider of software for product manufacturability, tool and material cost calculation, die face design and virtual process optimization. AutoForm has donated annually-renewing licenses for students’ use of its software, a gift valued at $1.6 million. The donation ensures that Ferris State students in the Computer-Aided Design, Drafting and Tool Design Technology program will always have access to state-of-the-art software tools.
Ferris’ College of Engineering Technology faculty members work hard to develop partnerships with industry leaders such as AutoForm and make the latest technology available to students for experiment and practice. Program professor Dan Wanink explained that industry partnerships and access to advanced tools give Ferris’ students an important advantage.
“Ours is the first program at any university in the country to have access to this kind of software,” explains Wanink. “We strive to give our students the edge in the job market.”
AutoForm’s products are used by virtually every automotive equipment manufacturer, as well as by die engineering and manufacturing operations in more than 40 countries around the world. Access to the software through their studies will allow Ferris’ Engineering Technology students to familiarize themselves with it and apply the advanced techniques of their studies more immediately upon entering the workplace.
“We are glad to support Ferris State University by granting AutoForm software to be used in Ferris State’s computer aided design and die engineering curriculum,” said AutoForm representative Richard Birchen. “We are convinced this will turn out to be a true win-win for everybody involved, in particular, for young graduates receiving a head start in an exciting professional domain.”
Ferris State University’s unique Engineering Technology programs are nationally recognized and highly sought after for their integration of state-of-the-art design and production tools. AutoForm’s gift complements the wide variety of advanced design technologies with which Ferris gives students hands-on experience.
“AutoForm is the premier company for this type of software, which has a lot of capabilities and unique features built in,” added Wanink. “Our program and its students are truly grateful for this generous gift and all of the learning opportunities it will continue to provide.”
Students of the CAD Drafting and Tool Design Technology program receive an Associate in Applied Science degree, and high quality preparation for work as CAD operators, computer-aided tool detailers, entry-level tool designers, product drafters and related technical positions. Many program graduates also choose to continue their studies in Bachelor of Science programs such as Product Design Engineering Technology, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Plastics Engineering Technology, Business Management and Technical Education. AutoForm’s software donation will advance the studies of students at both levels.
Founded in 1995 in Zurich, Switzerland, AutoForm has grown to become the leading provider of software solutions for a variety of die process and metal forming applications. With a United States office in Troy, Mich., AutoForm has more than 2,500 users throughout the U.S., in Asia and Europe, as well as in Mexico and Brazil.
Ferris State University is a four-year public university with campuses in Big Rapids, Grand Rapids and satellite campuses across the state. Ferris offers more than 180 educational programs, including doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees, through nine academic colleges: Allied Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Services, Michigan College of Optometry, Pharmacy, Engineering Technology, Kendall College of Art and Design, and the College of Professional and Technological Studies. Ferris also has a University College that provides students with instruction in study skills, reading and career exploration, and features an Honors program. Founded in 1884 by educator, Michigan Gov. and U.S. Sen. Woodbridge N. Ferris, the university’s mission is to prepare students for successful careers, responsible citizenship and lifelong learning. Through its many partnerships and its career-oriented, broad-based education, Ferris serves our rapidly changing global economy and society. For more information, visit www.ferris.edu.